Friday, November 11, 2011

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shoulder – “Seasoned” Perfectly

This pomegranate braised lamb shoulder is about as seasonally appropriate as it gets, and one of the best things I’ve tasted in a long time. Actually, that’s not technically true, since I ate this same dish at the neighborhood restaurant I stole the idea from last week.

The place is called, Bar Bambino, and if you’re ever in San Francisco, you should give it a try. Anyway, I was so impressed by the combination of fall flavors, colors and textures that I decided to replicate it here. I think it’s a gorgeous plate of food, and all modesty aside, it tastes even better than it looks.

As I joke about in the video, braised lamb is pretty tough to screw up. Simply cook it until it’s tender, and if it isn’t quite succulent enough, leave it in a bit longer. That’s the reason that shoulder chops work so well, as they have the right amount of fat and connective tissue for the long, slow braise.

By the way, if you don’t have a large skillet with a lid like I used here, simply transfer everything into a Dutch oven before putting it in the oven. In a pinch, you could even do this in a stockpot, on top of the stove, over very low heat.

Anyway, the timing is perfect for this lovely fall meal, especially with the roasted pumpkin I used to dress up the plate. I will show you that simple procedure in a future video soon. In the meantime, I really hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
3 lbs thick-cut lamb shoulder chops (of course this would work with shanks as well)
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil as needed
1 sliced onion
4 cloves sliced garlic
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
8 whole mint leaves, plus more to garnish
1/4 tsp hot chili flakes
1 tbsp honey, or to taste
1 tbsp freshly sliced mint leaves
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

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