This is a perfect dish to prepare ahead when you have friends coming. In fact, the flavours will improve over two or three days. Cook and add the silverbeet just before serving.
1.8 kilograms boned shoulder of lamb, cut into 4 cm pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
250 grams small button mushrooms, wiped clean
12 pickling onions, peeled with root end left intact
16 baby carrots, scrubbed with tops trimmed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8 large silverbeet leaves
Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
Lamb: Trim the lamb of excess fat. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole and brown the lamb in batches, transferring it to a plate as it browns. Add the vinegar and let it bubble up for a few seconds then stir in the garlic, tomato paste, rosemary and bay leaves. Cook for 1 minute then sprinkle over the flour and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the wine and stock then add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and return the meat, along with any juices, to the dish. Season generously, cover and braise for 1½ hours or until the lamb is very tender.
To finish: Trim out the tough stalk and thickly slice the silverbeet leaves. Cook in boiling salted water until tender then drain well and stir into the braised lamb.
To braise: a method of slow cooking meat where the meat is first browned and then cooked with liquid in a covered casserole at a low temperature until it is meltingly tender.
Menu: Serve Cheese and Rosemary Twists to start; followed by lamb served with Baked Kumara with Roasted Garlic Butter. Enjoy a Pear and Chocolate Croissant Pudding to finish