Lamb butchery, special “melon style” shoulder edition.

Fatback fever.

Prequel to the savory anniversary spread and deliciously nostalgic slideshow: the shoulder from a Pennsylvania raised (Halal slaughtered) lamb prepared in the French “melon style”.  The melon nickname  is earned through the trussing that suggests the fruit’s segmented cleavage, though the farm stand shape is more easily recognized as a pumpkin; denser Stateside dipshit cousin within the melon’s extended Cucurbitaceae family and reminiscent of dim witted, greedy rank & file GOP gourd-shaped heads.

A square meal deal.

The shoulder was received square cut, having its fore shank removed above the elbow.  The scapula and its surrounding cuts (teres major, flatiron) were separated from the ribcage, the scapula bone removed and the remaining meat (beef equivalent of the chuck roll) formed into a ball with excess (generally the deboned shank) tucked under and into the center of the ball,  à la Buffalo Bill.   Scraps were ground with orange zest, garlic and rosemary for breakfast lamb sausage.

Sheeping Beauty's bed was never so comfortable.

The resulting roast was dressed in a girdle made from thin strips of lard, in this case a slab of fatback that had been whittled to length with alternating butterfly cuts so as to yield a long ribbon.  A decorative topside braid kept the product moist and assured –at first glance- that it had been well cared for.

Slamb dunk.

The “melon” rested on a coarsely cut aromatic bedding of mirepoix, herbs, sliced lemon and was gently roasted in a 300ºF oven with frequent basting sessions until cooked to a happy medium, then left to rest at ambient room temperature for the better part of an hour.  Cut free from its fatty corset, the roast was divvied up much like a meaty tomato and enjoyed with fine condiments, friendly camaraderie and frosty suds.  One of the finer roasts of the spring.