Lamb Shoulder Confit, Warm Huckleberry Preserves, Creamy Parsnips
At last year’s American Lamb Jam, chef Mark Bodinet from Copperleaf Restaurant at the Cedarbrook Lodge took home “Best in Show” honors for his preparation of lamb shoulder served with a smooth and creamy purée of parsnips and a sauce made from ripe, summer huckleberries.
Summary: Adapted from a recipe by Mark Bodinet, executive chef, Copperleaf Restaurant at Cedarbrook Lodge, Seattle, WA. The preparation of the shoulder couldn’t be simpler. Simply season it and add some aromatics, massage in some olive oil, and let it roast away in the oven. About 30 minutes before mealtime, make the huckleberries and parsnips, or make them ahead of time and reheat right before eating.
- —For the lamb:
- 2 pounds lamb shoulder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 4 shallots, peeled, whole
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bulb garlic, cut in half
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- —For the huckleberries:
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ tablespoon allspice
- ½ tablespoon star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup fresh huckleberries (if using frozen, reduce water by ¼ cup)
- —For the parsnips:
- 2 pounds parsnips
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a roasting pan that will fit the lamb with a little room to spare, sprinkle the meat all over with the salt and pepper.
- Add the shallots, thyme, and garlic, and douse the whole lot with the olive oil.
- Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 3½ hours. Done perfectly, the lamb should be fork-tender.
- In a medium saucepan, add red wine vinegar, sugar, spices and water.
- Bring to a boil and cook until total volume is reduced by two-thirds.
- Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Strain liquid through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl filled with the huckleberries and mix.
- Keep warm, set aside until ready to serve.
- Peel, core, and medium dice the parsnips into ½-inch chunks.
- Place them in a medium saucepan with water and salt, and cook on high heat until almost all water has evaporated.
- Add cream and simmer until cream reduces by half in volume.
- Transfer into a warmed mixing bowl. With a manual or electric mixer, beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Then add butter and mix some more until butter has melted.
- Taste to check seasoning, set side and serve warm.
Number of servings (yield): 4
Suggested wine pairing: Columbia Rediviva 2007, Phinny Hill Vineyard Estate Grown, Horse Heaven Hills