2boneless lamb shoulders (2.6kg boned weight), cut into 8cm pieces2 kglarge lamb breasts, cut into 2-rib portions¼ cup(loosely packed) thyme, plus extra to serve2fresh bay leavesFinelygrated rind of 1 lemon5garlic cloves, bruised½ cup(loosely packed) rosemary, plus extra to serve80 ml (1/3 cup)olive oil2large white onions (200gm each), thinly sliced200 gmpancetta, cut into 1cm dice500 mldry white wine6large Desiree potatoes (1.5kg), cut into 3cm dice
Combine lamb pieces and ribs with thyme, bay leaves, lemon rind, 3 garlic cloves, half the rosemary and half the olive oil, season to taste with pepper and marinate overnight.
Preheat oven to 180C. Drizzle remaining olive oil into 2 large flameproof roasting pans (or 2 large heavy ovenproof frying pans) and heat over high heat. Drain lamb (discard herbs and marinade) and cook in batches, turning occasionally, until browned (4-6 minutes), then remove from pans and set aside. Reduce heat to low-medium, divide onion, pancetta, remaining garlic and rosemary between the pans and cook until browned (8-10 minutes). Deglaze pans with wine and reduce by half (2-3 minutes), then return lamb to pans with potato and add 250ml water to each pan. Cover pans with foil and roast until meat is tender and falling off bone (2½-3 hours).
Preheat grill to high heat and grill lamb (reserve pan juices) in batches on a foil-lined oven tray, turning occasionally, until browned (3-4 minutes). Set aside to rest. Place potato on another foil-lined oven tray and grill, turning often, until browned (8-10 minutes).
Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices then strain (discard solids), transfer to a frying pan and cook over high heat until reduced by half (3-5 minutes). Serve roast lamb and potato drizzled with reduced jus and scattered with extra thyme and rosemary.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.