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One of my favorite value cuts of lamb, this pint-size sister to beef’s brisket-plate-flank is stellar on the grill. Pressure tenderized, then rubbed with aleppo chile and whole cumin seeds and charred over hot coals; every bite is a smoke-streaked mouthful of tender happiness.
Score the lamb breasts along the ribs on the fat cap side, add to a pressure cooker or Instant Pot along with 1 cup water, 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, Tangier, garlic, onion, and salt, bring to pressure and cook for 40 minutes, then quick release. If you don't have a pressure cooker you can also braise them in a covered dish in the oven (or on the grill over indirect heat) for 2 1/2 hours at 350°F, just add an additional two cups of water to the pot since you'll have more evaporation.
Start a hot fire on a grill outdoors and prep for direct cooking. If you don't have access to a grill they can also be grilled under the broiler.
Save the cooking liquid for another dish (it makes a great base for kharcho soup), and allow the lamb to rest and cool slightly.
Mix the aleppo or Izak with the sajira and cumin and enough olive oil to form a loose paste. Brush each belly on the fat cap side with the reserved pomegranate syrup, then coat thoroughly with the spice mixture..
Grill cap side up for 4-6 minutes, covered, or until deeply browned, carefully flip the bellies and grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes more. A little bit of burning is ok. Reverse the order of these directions if cooking under a broiler.
Remove to a cutting board and slice the meat from the bones, then cut into large chunks, the bones can be crisped up to gnaw on later.
• Shred the meat and try it as a taco filling paired with finely chopped red onion and zhoug crema.
• Not a lamb fan? Try beef short or back ribs. Due to the size they will require 20-30% more braising time.
• If you enjoy a garlicky kick, try using toum to coat the racks before encrusting them with spices.
• Use black vinegar and Sri Lanka N.14 in the broth and whole cumin with crushed chilies and ground sichuan pepper for the crust for a northern Chinese twist, serve with fluffy white rice and a salad of shredded scallions, jalapeño, and cilantro with a bit of black vinegar and hot oil.Food image and recipe
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