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Perfect match: lamb shoulder and tempranillo

You'll need

  Salad 1 (about 1.7kg) lamb shoulder 2 heads garlic, cloves separated 750 ml (3 cups) veal stock 250 ml (1 cup) tempranillo 200 gm (1 cup) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight 2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced 125 gm (1 cup) green olives, cheeks removed, pits discarded 4 (about 400 gm) silverbeet leaves, thinly sliced 1 cup (loosely packed) each flat-leaf parsley and mint leaves 1 lemon, juice only ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika, or to taste   Paprika, lemon and garlic marinade 6 cloves garlic, crushed 2 lemons, finely grated rind only 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika, dry-roasted 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  • 01
  • For paprika, lemon and garlic marinade, combine ingredients and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub marinade over lamb, place in a roasting tray, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Place lamb and garlic cloves in a roasting pan, then pour over stock and wine. Cover with foil and cook, basting occasionally, for 3 hours or until lamb is tender and falling off the bone. Cool. Drain juices from pan into a jug. Stand until fat and juices separate. Skim fat and discard. When lamb is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bone and shred using a fork, discarding bone, sinew and fat. Return lamb to roasting pan, squeeze garlic from skins and add to meat.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, drain chickpeas, place in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes or until tender, drain, refresh under cold running water and set aside.
  • 04
  • Place pan juices in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced to half a cup. Pour juices over lamb and cover with foil.
  • 05
  • To serve, reheat lamb in oven for 10 minutes or until heated through. Place lamb and juices in a bowl and add chickpeas, onion, olives, silverbeet, herbs and lemon juice, tossing gently to combine. Season to taste with paprika, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Note You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

One of my favourite food and wine memories of all time is arriving in the Ribera del Duero wine region in north-central Spain late one warm afternoon (lunchtime, Spanish time) and visiting a bustling family restaurant where slow-cooked lamb was the speciality of the house. The air was thick with the sound of chatting and laughter and the smell of sweet fat and garlic, and the wine on the table was the dark purple local red made from the tempranillo grape. This wine was joven or 'young' style: it hadn't spent much time in barrel (if any) before being bottled and was bursting with succulent, supple, gently tannic but rich fruit. And it tasted absolutely spectacular with the fragrant, garlicky richness of the meat. Ever since then, whenever someone starts braising a shoulder of lamb, I automatically reach for a bottle of young tempranillo - either Spanish or, increasingly, Australian. - Max Allen

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Oct 2007

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