This is the only recipe I have ever come across that is absolutely and totally foolproof. The only way it can go wrong is if you forget to turn the oven on.
I found it in Tamasin Day-Lewis’s excellent cookery book ‘Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible’. The talented Tamasin comes form an equally talented family, her brother Daniel Day-Lewis is the oscar-winning actor and her father Cecil Day-Lewis was poet laureate in the UK.
Tamasin calls the dish Slow-Cooked Shoulder of Lamb with black olive paste. She mentions in her book that she first discovered it at a tiny village restaurant, in Provence. Here’s how to make it.
Put 1kg of cubed organic shoulder of lamb, which has been trimmed of excess fat, in a heavy-duty casserole with 200g of tapenade, (Tamasin recommends Carluccio’s crema de olive nere but I have found tapenade from a good deli works fine.) cover first with greaseproof paper and then the casserole lid. Pop it in the oven at 150°C et voilà after two hours you have a miraculous melding of flavours that will make those who taste it believe that you have manned the hot stoves for hours.
I made the lamb dish for this Sunday’s lunch and served it with baked sweet potato wedges and a green salad. Chunks of crusty french bread would have been good but I forgot to buy a baguette.
A glass of decent wine is an essential accompaniment and the bottle of Languedoc red I opened fitted the bill perfectly.