Here’s what I did with the lamb.
I have an 8 lb bone-in lamb shoulder roast. It’s a whopper. I minced and subsequently smashed an entire head of garlic with my meat pounder (they say to use your knife–that scares me) and a can of sardines. I chopped up some fresh rosemary and snipped some bay leaves into small pieces (my cooking teacher in Italy turned me on to fresh bay–it tastes completely different–you can find them in the produce section at the supermarket–they freeze really well too although they do lose a lot of their green color, but little of the flavor unlike the dried ones) and some parsley, mixed it with olive oil to hold it all together and spread it all over the meat and let it sit for an hour in the roasting pan before I put it in the oven at 325.
After it sat, I sprinkled it liberally with salt and ground pepper (I’d say about a tablespoon of salt and 1 1/2 tsp. of pepper) and ground fennel because I just bought it for something else and it was sitting on my counter smelling good and I thought it might be good in the mix of everything that had already gone on the lamb. I then chopped up a few carrots, celery, and onion in big pieces (and a couple mushrooms because I had them). I poured in one 32 oz. container of stock (I only used the box because I ran out of my stock pile–literally. I love homemade stock, but in a pinch, Swanson is really not as bad as I used to believe it to be) and half a bottle of Sauvingnon Blanc. I floated my vegetables around in the stock and covered the whole thing up in foil and tossed it in the oven. At 8 lbs, it needs about 3 1/2 hours to cook. The butcher said 25-30 minutes per pound. If it were boneless it would take less time.
In the mean time, I had a lot of these weird looking ugly vegetables from our vegetable share. They are Jerusalem artichokes aka sunchokes. They look like ginger, have the texture of carrots and are about the color of a russet potato inside. I decided to make them in a really simple way since I’ve never had them. So per Marcella Hazan’s instructions I boiled them until barely tender in salted water, sliced them, and put them in a casserole with 3 T butter and grated parmesan and let them bake at 400 until crusty and golden. It actually ended being quite tasty–they taste like a cross between a potato and an artichoke even though they’re not related to either. I think they should be called the mystery vegetable or gingcarpochoke. What do you think?
Ah, and after 3 hours of patiently smelling lovely aromas from my oven, I was left with this very very flavorful tender chunk of meat. It was delicious.