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Mains

Pomegranate braised lamb

Pomegranate braised lamb
Los Angeles Times

The braised lamb is redolent of pomegranates and cumin. The chicken dumpling soup is fragrant with Persian limes and cardamom. Pan-seared potato gnocchi are laced with dried porcini, mesquite-grilled salmon is sauced with harissa and a flourless chocolate cake is ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 35 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cups kosher vegetable broth (enough stock to cover the roast halfway in the pan)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • Salt to taste

Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel, then season all over with 1 tablespoon salt.

Step 2Grind the peppercorns, allspice berries, cumin seeds, dried mint, cinnamon and nutmeg in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Spread the spice mixture onto a baking sheet and roll the roast in the spices until it is covered.

Step 3Heat a large braising pan over medium heat, then add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the roast and sear it on all sides until browned. Remove the roast to a plate and set aside.

Step 4Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the lamb back to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated. Add the broth and pomegranate molasses, so that the liquid comes halfway up the roast. Place a piece of parchment paper over the roast and cover the pan with the lid or a tightly fitted piece of foil.

Step 5Braise in the oven for 2 hours. Halfway through cooking, turn the roast over so that the uncovered portion is submerged in the braising liquid. The finished roast will be well-done but fork-tender. Remove the roast to a plate and allow to rest, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 6Make the sauce: Skim and discard the fat from the top of the braising liquid. Strain the liquid into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce by one-fourth or until desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt to taste. Slice the roast and serve with the sauce spooned over it.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Todd Aarons. Have your butcher either net the roast or tie it to keep it together. Kosher vegetable broth is available at kosher markets and the ethnic foods section of select supermarkets. The roast can be served with a mint gremolata (equal parts minced garlic, mint and lemon zest) or quick-sauteed chard and beet greens. Pomegranate molasses is available at well-stocked supermarkets and gourmet stores. To make pomegranate molasses that is kosher for Passover, simmer pomegranate juice until syrupy (reduced by about half).

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