Deciding on a main course for my parents’ birthday dinner was no easy task. First, the protein–chicken didn’t feel “special” enough, pork isn’t my mom’s favorite, and fish appears frequently on their dinner table during any given week. I was also limited by certain ingredients (beans, most cheeses, etc.), as my mom is a tad bit picky. Enter the wise and beautiful Lemmonex, who suggested this lamb recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.
In short, it was the PERFECT dish. It was hearty, but not sickeningly rich. It was flavorful, both from the spices and from the meat itself. It was mind-blowingly tender. It paired well with wine. It reheated well. It held me after sex and then called when it said it would!!!
In all seriousness, this could not have turned out better. It didn’t really taste anything like pomegranite, but it didn’t much matter because the other spices (particularly the cinnamon) played up the meat’s sweetness really nicely. Again, I think the homemade chicken stock gave the dish a little extra oomph, so you should definitely consider taking the time to make some. And speaking of time, this dish takes a lot of it (you have to brown and bake the lamb overnight, then refrigerate it, then continue with the cooking the next day), but the techniques aren’t difficult and the results are totally worth the effort.
Serving note: the gravy is out of this world, so make sure you have some bread or potatoes or other starchy goodness with which to sop it all up.
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add all lamb bones and cook until brown, turning often, about 15 minutes. Transfer bones to plate. Season lamb with salt and pepper and dredge thoroughly in flour. Add to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer lamb to plate with bones.
Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until onions are just golden, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Return lamb to pot. Arrange bones around lamb. Stir in stock and next 7 ingredients. Bring liquid to boil. Baste top of lamb. Cover; bake until lamb is tender when pierced with long sharp knife, turning once, about 2 hours 15 minutes. Cool; cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove fat from surface of lamb and cooking liquid. Transfer lamb to platter. Remove string from lamb. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange in shallow baking dish.
Bring pan juices to boil. Remove bones and discard. Strain pan juices, pressing hard on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Melt margarine in same pot over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and stir until mixture begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in pan juices and boil until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over lamb. Cover with foil and bake until lamb is heated through, about 25 minutes. Arrange lamb on platter. Spoon sauce over. Garnish with parsley.