…especially when you’ve bought it at the Boucherie Vosges in narrow Rue de Pas de la Mule just off Place des Vosges. This little butcher shop deserves all the praise because here you can find real professionals behind the counter who lead there knifes with perfect mastery. You want a lamb’s leg in boneless slices? They’ll cut it for you in not time (and neatly!). You need a roast with a pocket to stuff? Just ask, they’ll serve you. You need a lamb shoulder but not its bone? Well, that’s a tricky one for amateurs, but here they do it for you with a confident smile.
Now look at the picture and guess what I’m up to. This will be a delicious one; and it doesn’t need skills, it just needs a good lamb shoulder (see above) and…some time. First, I’ll heat the oven to 160°C (320°F), then I’ll cut the onion, the carrots, the garlic and the fennel into tiny little cubes. I will roast them in two tablespoons of the best olive oil I can find on my shelf – and in my black iron-cast pot. I’ll add a good glass of white wine, then the tomatoes (peeled and chopped). The spring onions go in, cut in halves, the olives follow (these are from Nice, the small ones). On this bed I put my lamb to rest, well-seasoned with pepper and salt (no searing before, it goes in like it is, raw). I close the pot and put it in the oven. That’s it, almost.
‘Cause now it takes 2 1/2 hours to let it cook, braise, steam, roast – in fact, it’s a combination of them all. Maybe I’ll check whether there’s enough liquid in the pot after an hour or so, and again after two hours. That’s all I have to do while waiting, well, I could have an Apéritif to light up this phase. But then it’ll be done, and you will smell it and you’ll be fine, I swear. It’s fast food, in a way, not time- but cookingwise. The result though is high-class, success is guaranteed.