This was a truly wonderful lamb dish. If you like lamb well-enough, you will love it after trying this!
This dish came about because I wanted something fabulous to go with some morel mushrooms my friend Tom had found in the woods by his house. I got a phone call to tell me the news and I was so excited that I bought some expensive meat and some cream to make a rich sauce for the morels to languish in! Anyway to make a long story short, I did not end up using them in this dish for one reason or another, and, that may be a good thing. (I am writing a post about my morels next!). If I had used them instead of the ordinary white button mushrooms you would perhaps never have had an opportunity to try this recipe (being that they are difficult to come by and cost an obscene amount of money). That would be a great tragedy as I actual don’t see how this dish could have turned out better!
You will need: 2 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, cut into big chunks (you may be able to find it already cut. It will be marked “stewing lamb”), 3 tbs olive oil, 1 medium sweet onion, diced, 8 medium yellow, white or red potatoes, cut in half, 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, left whole, 1 vegetable stock cube, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup water, coarse sea-salt, freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat oven 375*
1 – Put lamb chunks in big bowl and season with 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt (if your salt is not coarse just add 1 tsp), several good grinds of pepper and the chopped garlic. Mix everything together. Set aside until ready to sear.
2 – Put halved potatoes in pot and cover with cold water. Place on stove top with lid and when it comes to a boil, time for 10 minutes. The will still be undercooked, but not hard. Drain in colander. When the are cool enough to handle (you can be doing other tasks like chopping onions and mushrooms or searing lamb?) peel, slice thickly and set aside.
3 – In big saute pan sear meat on high heat in olive oil. Do not add meat until pan and oil are hot. Sear in a single layer and don’t crowd the pan or the meat will not brown! (A little patience required)
4 – When meat is done, turn heat down and cook the onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic, bouillon cube and rosemary sprigs and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
5 – Add the cream and water and stir. Continue to cook until it comes to a simmer. Turn off pan.
Assemble casserole: In heavy casserole pot rub about 1/2 tbs unsalted butter inside pot. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom, followed by 1/2 of the raw sliced mushrooms. Add 1 cup of sauce from pan, along with a nice portion of the onion mixture and 1 of the rosemary sprigs.
Next add all the lamb, followed by potatoes, mushrooms and the rest of the sauce. Cover and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Serve on warmed plates with some greens. (We had it with sautéed spinach)