120 mlolive oil1.5 kgpiece of lamb shoulder, bone in1 litre (4 cups)brown chicken stock1 eachcarrot, celery stalk and onion, coarsely chopped1 eachfresh bay leaf and rosemary sprig1thyme sprig, plus 1 tsp extra thyme leaves130 gmsoftened butter3small Japanese eggplant, halved lengthways, flesh scored1garlic clove, crushed600 gmkipfler potatoes, scrubbed, coarsely chopped18baby carrots, trimmed12 eachfinger fennel, halved (see note), and baby turnips, trimmed2 tbspcoarsely chopped mintTo garnish:fennel pollen (see note)Salsa verde1 cup (loosely packed) eachmint, basil and flat-leaf parsley80 ml (1/3 cup)olive oil, or to taste60 ml (¼ cup)red wine vinegar1 tbspDijon mustard2white anchovies1 tbspsmall salted capers, rinsed
Preheat oven to 90C. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add lamb and turn occasionally until browned (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a deep roasting tray large enough to fit lamb snugly, add stock, chopped carrot, celery, onion and whole herbs, cover with baking paper and foil and cook until lamb falls from the bone (12 hours). Carefully remove bone, then baste lamb with pan juices and 50gm butter to glaze. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, scatter eggplant with 2 tsp salt and stand until bitter juices drain (15-20 minutes), then wipe off moisture with absorbent paper. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over high heat, add eggplant, cut-side down, and cook until golden (1-2 minutes), then add 30gm butter and garlic and cook until foamy (1 minute). Turn eggplant, remove from heat and set aside for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, for salsa verde, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth, season to taste.
Meanwhile, cook potato in simmering salted water until tender (20-30 minutes). Blanch baby carrot, fennel and turnip in a separate saucepan until just tender (4-5 minutes). Mix potato with half the remaining butter and chopped mint in a serving dish, keep warm. Combine baby vegetables and eggplant, remaining butter and thyme leaves in a separate serving dish, season to taste, keep warm.
Serve lamb hot with pan sauces, potato, baby vegetables and salsa verde, garnished with fennel pollen.
Note Finger fennel and fennel pollen are available from specialist greengrocers. If finger fennel is unavailable, use baby fennel cut into thin wedges.
This recipe is from the August 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.