Recipe Provided ByExecutive Chef Michael Scelfo
- 1/4 cup fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons, divided extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 pounds boneless American Lamb shoulder roast, untied
- 6 medium shallots, rough chop
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 sweet, crisp apples (like gala), cored, rough chop
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, rough chop
- 2 medium celery stalks, rough chop
- 1 750 ml bottle cabernet sauvignon
- 4 cups chicken broth or low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 fresh rosemary sprigs, tied together with butcher’s twine
- 6 fresh bay leaves
In a spice grinder or coffee mill, process fennel seeds until fine. In a small bowl, add ground fennel, salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of oil; stir to combine. Evenly rub lamb with fennel-oil mixture; roll lamb, tie and set aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add roast; cook until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer roast to a large plate. Wipe out pot; add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, apples, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples soften and mixture begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Return lamb to pot; add wine, broth, rosemary and bay leaves. Increase heat to high; bring liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Braise at 350ºF until a fork easily slides into the center and meat pulls apart with a fork, 3 to 3-1/2 hours, turning roast every 45 minutes.
Remove pot from oven; transfer lamb to a large platter, cover and set aside. Strain broth in the pot through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard vegetables and herbs. Wipe out pot; pour strained broth back in. Bring broth to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about 1 hour. Pour sauce into a fat separator; set aside to settle.
Remove twine from roast and discard; pull the lamb. Remove fat from sauce; pour sauce into serving dish and top with roast. Drizzle some sauce over the lamb, serving the rest on the side.
Chef suggestion: Serve with parsley gnocchi and a poached egg.