TT Test Kitchen Tip: If you have extra time, marinate the lamb in the red-wine-and-spice mixture overnight before making the recipe.
TT Test Kitchen Tip: The daube can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Reheat gently over medium-low heat on the top of the stove.
Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
5 fennel seeds
3 coriander seeds
2 sprigs fresh thyme
5 parsley stems
1 orange peel
3 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1½ -inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ pound slab bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3½ cups full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2½ cups vegetable stock
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a piece of cheesecloth, combine the peppercorns, bay leaf, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, thyme, parsley stems and orange peel. Gather the cloth and use a piece of butcher's twine to tie together the open end. Set aside.
2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add half of the lamb pieces and brown them on all sides, about 7 minutes. Place the browned lamb in a bowl and brown the remaining lamb. Add the rest of the lamb to the bowl, cover with aluminum foil and set aside. Add the bacon to the pot. Cook until crisp, about 5 minutes, then add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the wine, vegetable stock, tomatoes and the reserved lamb. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cheesecloth bundle and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 2½ hours. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°. Remove the lid and continue cooking, uncovered. Cook until the meat is very tender and the liquid has reduced slightly, about 45 minutes longer. Remove the pot from the oven and discard the cheesecloth. Serve the daube warm with the baguette.