Catalan Recipe: Glazed Shoulder of Xisqueta Lamb
From quick fish medleys by the sea to slow-cooked meats from the mountains, Catalonia’s cuisine is as diverse as its geography. In this series of video recipes provided by the Catalan Tourism Board, we see how staple ingredients like garlic, wine, olive oil, and tomatoes unite the region’s gastronomy. And with such a broad base, Catalan cooks have whipped up truly unique dishes through time.
In northern Catalonia, where sheep and cows roam the Pyrenees mountains, the cooks at Pillars Jussà take the shoulder of a Xisqueta lamb and pair it with the deeply sweet flavors of honey and port wine. But it is perhaps the preparation, not the ingredients, of this dish that is most representative of Catalonia. After dressing the lamb shoulder with rosemary and thyme, a cook must patiently wait for eight hours before even adding the honey glaze. Meat is serious business.
For a taste of Catalan meat and poultry, come to this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival and try the pollastre a la catalana—boneless chicken stew served with white rice from La Masia del Alabardero | Catalan Cuisine. Typically, this dish, like the glazed shoulder of Xiqueta lamb, hints at earthy flavors of wine amid earthy tones.
Aidan Keys is a senior at Howard University double majoring in English and Spanish. She is currently interning with the Catalonia program of the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.