Sunday, May 26, 2013

braised lamb shoulder with figs

what you need 
½ cup dried figs
4 fresh figs halved (if available)
½ cup warm water
I boneless lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat
Salt and ground black pepper
1 small onion diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 pickling onions whole
2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with their juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

what to do
Place the figs and water in a bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the water. Cut the figs into half and set aside
Sprinkle the shoulder with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-bottomed large pan over medium-high heat and cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Pour off the fat in the pan,
Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved soaking liquid from the figs and simmer until reduced by half, scraping the browned bits from the pan bottom with a wooden spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, honey and reserved figs, then return the shoulder to the pan, add whole onions cover and place in a moderate oven until the shoulder is cooked through and starting to fall apart, approx. 2-2.5hrs. 30 after 2 hours add fresh figs if available and cook for further 30 minutes.

Place the shoulder  on a serving dish, stir the parsley into the braising liquid, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, spoon the sauce over the shoulder, and serve 

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