Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary-Pancetta Paste
Cuts of lamb, such as the shoulder and breast, that have rich, deep flavor and ample fat are delicious when well-done. You can serve the lamb with a pan sauce, if you like. I like to accompany this dish with cannellini or flageolet beans cooked with sage and garlic.
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
1 3-4 pound boned and rolled lamb shoulder roast
White Beans with Sage (recipe follows)
With the motor running, drop the garlic through the tube of a food processor and pulse until chopped. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the pancetta, rosemary and pepper and pulse several times to form a paste.
Trim the lamb of excess fat. Make 1/2-inch deep gashes 1 to 2 inches long at an angle all over the surface of the meat, taking care not to cut any of the strings. Fill each gash with some of the rosemary pancetta paste. Smear the remaining paste over the surface of the roast. (The meat can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated over night. Let the roast sit one hour at room temperature before cooking.)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Place the roast fat side up in a roasting pan and roast for 3 hours, until the meat registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. If not done, continue to roast, checking every 30 minutes. Let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes before carving.
Slice the meat into thick slices. Spoon the beans into a large shallow serving bowl and top with the lamb. Drizzle any juices over the top and serve.