Happy Earth Day to you all, and Easter to those who celebrate! Did you do or cook anything special this weekend, an egg hunt or leg of lamb, perhaps? I spent Sunday outdoors gardening with my neighbor (it was really rather lovely, how haven’t we done that before?) then inside making a feast for two (with leftovers lasting three days, two meals per day).
I had the very best weekend and I’m feeling rather content on this fine Earth Day. That, and this lamb dish it the tops, I mean it!
I can’t even say what was going through my head when I said yes to a three pound boneless lamb shoulder at the market the other day. I had in mind that fateful dish at Zahav that literally falls apart as you slice through. This wasn’t quite that but it was beautiful and impressive on its own.
My trusty Jerusalem Cookbook has proved to the number one resource in my arsenal for the time being. The herb and spice mixtures make anything delicious, I’ll tell you that much. As with any marinade, the longer you let the meat rest, the better. For me that meant about 6 hours.
Lamb Shawarma Recipe (Adapted from Jerusalem Cookbook )
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves1/4 tsp ground cardomom
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 Tbsp. sumac
2 tsp kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2/3 c. cilantro (stems and leaves), chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. olive oil
3lbs boneless lamb shoulder, tied (with kitchen twine)
2 T. pomegranate molasses
1/2 c. cooked garbanzo beans (optional)
Prepare lamb: Using a paring knife, cut small slits into the fat to allow marinade to soak in.
Marinade: Combine all ingredients (other than lamb and molasses) in a large bowl and combine well. Place lamb in bowl and cover the lamb completely, distributing the marinade as evenly as you can. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours-overnight (I did 6 hours).
Cook: Preheat oven to 325F. Put the lamb, fatty side up, in a large roasting pan or dutch oven and coat with leftover glaze. Drizzle with molasses. Roast for about 3 hours or until meat is very tender. After about 30 minutes of roasting, carefully add water to the pan to keep spices from burning as well as garbanzo beans. Every 20 minutes or so, use a ladle and baste lamb with liquid (Note: Add more water if it reduces to below 1/4 inch). After about 1 1/2 hours cover halfway with lid or cover completely with tin foil for the remainder of cooking. When done, remove and place on a cutting board for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve: Serve with pilaf and a fresh salad of lettuce tomatoes and herbs and feta cheese or wrap it all up in fresh pita bread