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This recipe from chef Eli Buli of Bustan pairs roasted and braised lamb ribs with a rich pomegranate sauce. A refreshing salad of pickles and herbs lightens the dish.
5 pounds lamb ribs
3 white onions, peeled and quartered
5 tomatoes, quartered
10 sprigs fresh thyme
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 hot pepper
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
10 Persian cucumbers, sliced very thin
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced very thin
1 bunch of fresh dill
Optional for garnish: fresh herbs like mint and more dill fronds, chopped toasted peanuts, thinly sliced radishes
Heat an oven to 400°F. Coat the ribs with salt and pepper and roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
While the ribs are roasting, heat olive oil in a large pot (which will also fit the ribs.
Add the onion, garlic, thyme and hot pepper and fry for two minutes. Then add the spices and mix for a minute. Then add the tomatoes and fry for another two minutes.
Add the pomegranate molasses and 1 cup water and bring to a boil.
Add the lamb to the pot after roasting, increase the oven temperature to 450°F, cover the pot, and braise in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Bring the vinegar to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the sugar and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
Add the seasoned vinegar to the cucumbers, onions, and dill, mix well, and allow to stand for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the lamb from. the liquid and set aside to cool.
Strain the cooking liquid and add the smoked cinnamon maple syrup or honey.
In a wide pan over medium-high heat reduce the cooking liquid for about 10 minutes, taste (it should be a bit on the salty side), and then thicken using a slurry of cornstarch and water (equal parts mixed together).
Slice the lamb between the ribs, then add to the pan and toss until heated through and thoroughly glazed.
Serve the lamb ribs with the pickles and optionally some chopped toasted peanuts, sliced radishes, and fresh herbs.