If your guests are not fans of lamb, these flavours work well with a beef roast too. You’ll see that the ingredients in this sauce are what are often referred to as “pantry ingredients”—you might have them all on hand on any given night. So if you have the time it takes to brown the roast, you can cook this (largely unattended) for less-special occasions too, like your regular-old weeknight dinners, or your Sunday batch-cook for the best leftovers all week.
Lamb with Preserved Lemon and Olives
3.5 – 4 lbs top round cut of lamb or top centre/inner cut (not as tough as shoulder), fat trimmed, rolled and tied, which your butcher may do for you if asked
Ground black pepper
Oil for browning
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 big handful parsley stems sliced, leaves separated and roughly chopped for garnish
1 tbs chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
1 preserved lemon, ideally Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 c green olives
1 tsp capers, rinsed
Season lamb on all sides with salt and pepper.
Add a slick of oil to a large braising pan or other heavy-bottomed, high-sided pot. Heat over medium-high heat and brown lamb very well on all sides which will take about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer lamb to a plate and remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley stems to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onion has caramelized. Season lightly with salt, then add the preserved lemon, green olives, capers and stir. Add the lamb back to the pan and then add water to the pan to come up about half-way up the side of the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the lamb is cooked. For medium done-ness, cook lamb to medium-rare (145F degrees), then transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving—it will continue to cook in the residual heat. While the lamb is resting, bring the juices and ingredients in the pan back up to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or more to thicken the gravy to your desired consistency. Pour some of the gravy onto a serving plate and add the lamb back on top, either whole or cut into slices. Sprinkle the reserved parsley over top and serve with the remaining gravy on the side.
Makes 8 servings.
This story and recipe appear in A MENU FOR ENTERTAINING, Issue 024 of Le Sauce Magazine.