This week, I give you a fully-executed…experiment. I’ve had this idea chilling somewhere in my brain for a few months, but this was the first time that expectations met reality. I really need my own test kitchen to run multiple attempts at once– but that’s a story for another day.
I wanted to make a stew, but decided to use something other than tomatoes and peppers as the base this time. What’s available right now? Zucchini and leeks! I knew I could get myself close to a thick sauce if I mimicked the carrot soup from a while ago, so that was the launch point.
Sear the lamb, braise it, then finish it under the broiler to get the most flavor out of the meat. Next time, I’ll definitely use a larger cut– I know I can scale everything up– but the shoulder still gives you a good amount of flavor!
I thought about treating this like a real ragú and letting it simmer all day to break down, but hunger overcame patience this time. Instead, I cooked everything in browned butter, the fond from the lamb, and ultimately blended everything to get the consistency I wanted.
So now, you have everything you need to give this a shot.
2 Lamb Shoulders
4 Cups Zucchini, diced
4 Cups Spinach
3 Cups Gnocchi
1 Cup Stock/Red Wine (optional)
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Cloves Black Garlic
1 Leek, sliced thinly
1 Tbs Dried Rosemary
1 Tbs Dried Thyme
1 Tbs Dried Parsley
1 Tsp Dried Tarragon
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then sear on medium-high heat, and set aside.
2. Stir in zucchini, leeks, and garlic, then add butter, and season to taste. Mince the black garlic.
3. Return meat to the pan, and add minced black garlic, and remaining spices. Top with stock and or wine, and braise until the meat is tender.
4. Transfer the meat to the broiler to brown on both sides. Reduce the remaining liquid in the pan, then lower the heat.
5. Taste for seasoning, then purée in a blender until smooth.
6. Plate and serve over gnocchi.