I love this recipe because of its versatility but also because it keeps well in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for over two months, and it reheats really well, too.
Swap option: You can make this dish as well with pork shoulder, veal and game like venison or boar. You can also substitute the vegetables — potatoes, turnips, parsnips and carrots — just be mindful of the cooking time of the meat and the vegetables so that they are both cooked at the end.
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian oregano on the branch
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Season lamb pieces with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.2.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lamb pieces and brown, about 5 minutes each side.3.
Remove browned lamb pieces from the pot. Add onions and celery to pot and cook until they begin to wilt, about 5 minutes. Season with paprika and add tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano and 2 cups water.4.
Add the lamb back to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover and cook until lamb is almost tender, about an hour.5.
Add squash and up to 1 cup of water to cover, bring to boil, uncovered, and simmer until lamb and squash are tender, about 20 minutes more.6.
Remove the bay leaves, add parsley and serve.