In A Waterfront Wedding, Evelyn and Ryan fall in love while competing against each other for the chance to host the Wedding-in-a-Week contest. They’ve even placed bets on it—loser pays for a romantic dinner. Both of them have their sights on the most expensive item on the menu—the slow-braised lamb. You can make it at home for your own romantic dinners, or for no occasion at all: the apricot Madeira sauce makes it truly special.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins.
  • Cook Time: 210 mins.
  • Serves: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3½ to 4 lb.) lamb shoulder, boned, rolled and tied
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, fine chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, fine chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup Madeira (can substitute Marsala wine)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom roasting pan over medium high heat; season lamb with salt and black pepper and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • To same pan, add bacon and cook over medium-low heat until cooked. Add onion, carrot and celery; sauté until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  • Add tomato paste, Madeira, chicken stock, apricot jam and fresh thyme and stir to blend.
  • Return browned lamb to pan, cover and braise in oven for 3 hours.
  • Transfer lamb to platter and cover with foil.
  • Carefully strain braising liquid through a sieve into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to press out any remaining liquid. Transfer liquid back into roasting pan. Simmer liquid on stove top over medium-low heat until liquid has reduced by 50 percent.
  • Reduce heat to low. Slowly add cold butter pieces to braising liquid, whisking constantly, until all butter has melted and sauce is thick and glossy. Return braised lamb; keep warm.
  • To serve, remove strings from roast, transfer to platter and spoon sauce over the top.