Spoon lamb

Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Spoon lamb

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.


Heat a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and two of the lamb chops. Cook them for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown.


Remove the chops and set them aside in a roasting pan big enough to hold all four chops. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully pour off any fat that has rendered and add one-fourth cup of the wine to the browning pan. Scrape up the sugars stuck to the bottom of the pan and strain the liquid through a strainer over the meat. Wipe the pan, clean and repeat


the browning process with the remaining two chops and 1 tablespoon oil and another one-fourth cup wine.


Sprinkle the cumin over the lamb chops. Add the garlic, carrot, the remaining 1 1/2 cups wine, and the onion to the pan and top it off with enough water so that the liquid reaches halfway up the chops. Cover twice with baking foil and seal tightly, or cover it with a lid that fits tightly. Braise the chops in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat begins to fall apart with the poke of a fork.


Remove the lamb chops from the pan and strain the braising juices into a bowl. Reserve the carrots for garnish.


Refrigerate the braising liquid until the fat rises to the surface and can be easily skimmed off and discarded (about 20 minutes). Skim and pour the juices in a saucepan. Boil the liquid over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes or until reduced by half.


Stir in the pomegranate molasses and butter, if using. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice.


Look at the lamb closely and with your fingers remove any little chunks of excess fat from around the edges of the chops.


Reheat the lamb and carrots in the sauce by simmering them over low heat for about 10 minutes. Turn the lamb to coat it nicely with the sauce after 5 minutes and serve.

From “Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean,” by Ana Sortun.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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