Stuffed Lamb Breast with Lemon, Ricotta, and Oregano

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Yield: 8 Servings

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Straining the ricotta will tighten the filling, making it easier to roll. Let it hang out in a sieve while you’re measuring everything else out.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 boneless lamb breasts (1-1½ pounds each), fat trimmed

Kosher salt

4 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 large egg yolk

6 ounces Pecorino or Parmesan, finely grated

6 ounces ricotta, drained

½ cup pitted oil-cured olives, coarsely chopped

⅓ cup coarsely chopped parsley

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 cup dry white wine

1 lemon, quartered

4 sprigs parsley, plus ¼ cup leaves with tender stems

2 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

A spice mill or a mortar and pestle

Instructions

Finely grind oregano, fennel, and red pepper flakes in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Place lamb breasts on a work surface, fat side down, and season with salt. Sprinkle spice mixture over top, then rub garlic into meat, working over entire surface.

Mix egg yolk, Pecorino, ricotta, olives, parsley, and lemon juice in a small bowl to combine and spread evenly over both lamb breasts. Working with 1 breast at a time and starting from a short end, roll up so lamb is resting seam side down. Starting at the center, tie each roll with kitchen twine at even intervals.

Do Ahead: Lamb can be stuffed 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat oven to 300°. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Season lamb all over with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add onion, carrot, shallots, and garlic to same pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are browned around edges, 8-10 minutes. Add wine, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add lemon, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 4 cups cold water. Add lamb back to pot and bring to a simmer; cover and transfer to oven. Cook, turning once, until lamb is tender but not quite falling apart, 2-2½ hours. Transfer lamb to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Bring braising liquid to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced by half, 15-20 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, if desired. Remove kitchen twine from lamb and slice ¾” thick. Transfer to a platter and strain braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over lamb. Top with parsley leaves.

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