Citrus and Fennel Braised Lamb
Lamb has great fat content and rich flavor, which makes it ideal for this sweetly spiced, Mediterranean style braise.
- 2 kg bone-in lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 orange (with peel), cut into pieces
- 400g can peeled whole tomatoes
- 750 mL low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- Season lamb pieces with salt, pepper and orange zest and let set covered in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours.
- Heat oven to 325°. Pat lamb dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook lamb, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes; transfer to a plate.
- Add fennel, onion, and garlic to same pot and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and softened, 6–8 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, 6–8 minutes.
- Add orange, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, and broth along with lamb to pot. Bring to a simmer, cover pot, and transfer to oven. Braise until lamb is fork-tender, 1½–2 hours. Transfer lamb to a clean plate.
- Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; return to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thick and velvety, 20–30 minutes.
- Stir in pomegranate molasses, if using, and return lamb to pot and cook, stirring to coat, until heated through.
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