Braised Lamb Shoulder with Parmesan Polenta and Salsa Verde
Chef James Walt of Araxi – Whistler, B.C.
Adapted by
November 2009
Yield: 4 Servings


Braised Lamb Shoulder:
3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 quarts rendered duck fat

Parmesan Polenta:
1½ pints milk
1½ pints water
8 ounces instant polenta
5 ounces unsalted butter
3½ ounces grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salsa Verde:
1 slice plain white bread, crusts removed, torn into 6-8 pieces
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons rinsed and chopped capers
1 cup mixed herbs, such as mint, tarragon, basil, and parsley
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Braised Lamb Shoulder:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Clean the shoulder of any sinew or excess fat. Season it with the salt, garlic and herbs. Roll the shoulder into a log shape and tie the lamb with string to hold its shape. Put the lamb shoulder in a deep ovenproof pan and cover with the duck fat; bring to a simmer on the stove top. Cover and put in the oven for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Remove from the fat and cut the strings off and roll the shoulder tightly in plastic wrap.

For the Parmesan Polenta:
Boil the milk and water together in a large pot fitted with a lid. Turn the heat down to medium-low and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cover with the lid and cook out for 12 to 15 minutes. Add the butter and parmesan and a generous pinch of salt; mix thoroughly. Pour the polenta into a lightly oiled, shallow baking tray, approximately 8-inches by 12-inches or any dish that will leave the final depth of the polenta a ½-inch thick. Put polenta in the fridge to cool. Once the polenta is set, turn out onto a cutting board using a small round cookie cutter, approximately 3 inches in diameter, to cut 8 circles of polenta.

For the Salsa Verde:
Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender to form a vibrant green paste. Add a little ice water if the paste is too thick. Chill and reserve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Arrange lamb shoulder slices on discs of polenta and top with the salsa verde.