Slow-roasted lamb, smoked aubergines, grilled Swiss chard

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Francesco Mazzei serves up a stunning slow-roasted lamb shoulder recipe, cooked in wine and stock before lightly pressing and setting in a mould for neater portioning. Feel free to serve the lamb straight from the oven if you're after a more rustic finish.

First published in 2017




Slow-roasted lamb shoulder

Garlic oil

Aubergine purée

Anchovy crumb

Swiss chard


  • Food processor or blender
  • Blowtorch
  • Terrine mould


The day before serving, crush the garlic, stir into the oil and leave overnight at room temperature to infuse
Start preparing the aubergine purée the day before serving, too. Place the aubergines over an open flame (either on a gas hob or barbecue) until they're completely burnt and black on the outside and soft inside
Once very soft all the way through, place in a container, cover with cling film and leave to cool. Once completely cool, the skin will peel off easily. Ensuring there are no bits of charred skin left, roughly chop the flesh and put in a colander overnight to drain any excess liquid
Once drained, chop the mint and the marjoram and add to the aubergine. Season with salt and pepper and blend to a paste. Set aside
For the lamb, sweat down the onion and garlic in a casserole until soft. Add the celery and carrot and sweat until golden
Preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 3
In a separate pan, sear the lamb shoulder until golden. Season with salt and pepper then add to the casserole
Stir in the tomato paste and cook out for a minute or so. Add the wine, lamb stock, bay and juniper. Ensure the lamb is fully covered in the stock, then cover with a lid or tin foil and cook in the oven for 3 hours
Wash the chard and trim down if the leaves are very large. Cook in salted boiling water for a a few seconds, then plunge into ice water to preserve the bright green colour
Once cold, drain off any excess water and toss with a drizzle of olive oil
Once the lamb is cooked, gently lift the shoulder out of the stock and leave to cool down on a plate until cool enough to handle. While still warm, gently de-bone. Discard the bone and remove any excess fat from the meat
Place the meat in a terrine mould and top the mould with weights. Leave to press in the fridge so it sets firmly
Pass the lamb cooking liquid through a fine sieve and reduce gently in a pan until it’s nice and thick
To make the anchovy crumb, sweat the anchovies in the olive oil. Once they start to fry, add the paprika and the breadcrumbs. Cook until golden and crispy, then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to get rid of excess of olive oil
When ready to serve, cut the lamb into nice neat portions and reheat in a pan with some of the reduced lamb cooking liquid
Gently reheat the aubergine with some garlic oil to taste, then portion onto the plates. Top with the lamb, then the Swiss chard, blowtorch the chard a little to heat it, then finish with the anchovy crumbs and a drizzle of garlic oil

Francesco Mazzei reminds us why we fell in love with Italian food in the first place, conjuring soulful dishes that put flavour first.

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