The most important aspect of this recipe, says Ross Lusted, is selecting the lamb. "It's the size of the shoulder that's important. You can get lamb shoulders that are three kilos, and they can be a bit scary - it's more mutton than lamb." You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 1 small lamb shoulder (1.8kg), boned, rolled and tied (bones and trimmings reserved for lamb sauce; see note), at room temperature
- 4 3-bone lamb racks (200gm each), fat cap removed (see note), at room temperature
- 4 garlic cloves, bruised
- 2 tsp dried Greek oregano (see note)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- To serve: basil leaves
- 600 gm lamb bones (including reserved bones and trimmings from shoulder; see note)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 each carrot, celery stalk and onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and sliced, peels reserved
- 2 white onions, thinly sliced
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 100 ml verjuice
- 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1Combine lamb shoulder and racks, garlic, oregano and olive oil in a non-reactive dish, season to taste, cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
- 2Meanwhile, for lamb sauce, preheat oven to 200C. Chop bones with a cleaver and roast with meat trimmings in a roasting pan until golden (20-30 minutes). Transfer to a saucepan. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add vegetables and stir occasionally until golden (8-10 minutes). Add to saucepan with oregano, add enough water to just cover (about 1.5 litres), bring to the simmer, then simmer over low heat until a rich stock forms (4 hours). Strain, reserve 100ml, then reduce remaining stock until a thin sauce forms, or to 80ml (12-14 minutes). Refrigerate until required.
- 3For Jerusalem artichoke purée and chips, reduce oven to 180C. Toss artichoke and onion in olive oil, transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast until golden (50 minutes-1 hour). Meanwhile, wash peels and pat dry with absorbent paper. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan to 170C. Deep-fry artichoke peels until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and season with a little salt. Set aside to cool completely then store in an airtight container until required. Transfer roasted artichoke mixture to a saucepan, add verjuice and reduce to a syrup over high heat (2-3 minutes). Add reserved lamb stock and reduce by half (1-2 minutes). Blend in a blender, adding butter a piece at a time until incorporated (add a little water if needed to make a moist purée). Refrigerate until required.
- 4The next day, preheat oven to 80C. Place lamb shoulder in a roasting pan, add water to 1cm depth, cover and roast until tender, juicy and pink (6 hours; 56C on a meat thermometer). Set aside to rest.
- 5Preheat a charcoal barbecue (or char-grill pan) to medium-high heat. Grill lamb shoulder and racks, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked medium-rare (16-18 minutes). Set aside in a warm place to rest (10-15 minutes).
- 6Meanwhile, reheat lamb sauce in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk in remaining olive oil, season to taste and keep warm. Gently reheat Jerusalem artichoke purée in a saucepan over low heat until warmed through.
- 7Remove string from lamb shoulder, slice shoulder and place on a warm serving plate. Remove bones from lamb racks (discard), slice racks and place on plate. Spoon lamb sauce over, scatter with basil leaves and Jerusalem artichoke chips and serve with Jerusalem artichoke purée.
Note Ask your butcher to bone and roll the lamb shoulder for you, leaving just the shank bone in. Ask to keep the remaining bones and trimmings for the lamb sauce. You'll also need to buy extra bones to make 600gm. The fat cap is the fat on the outside top of the lamb rack. Leave the other fat on. Greek oregano, also known as rigani, is more aromatic than the dried oregano sold in supermarkets. It's available in dried bunches from Greek delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: SC Pannell Syrah, Adelaide Hills, SA. Drink suggestion by Joshua Renshaw