Slow Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate Molasses

One of my favorite restaurants in Seattle is Mamnoon. They now have a “to go” near the new Amazon offices and it’s addicting to just walk right over there and grab a falafel to go. They inspired me to make falafel and lamb for friends recently. Basically, braise the lamb (shoulder, shank or leg) until the meat is tender (could be as long as five or six hours). Towards the end, I often cover the lamb to keep it moist but the browner the better for lamb. To start: salt the lamb and then pour directly on the lamb a mixture consisting of sugar, pomegranate molasses, Meyer lemon juice, and zaatar (or cumin). Pour the braising liquid around the lamb: vegetable stock and a splash of red wine. Make sure the liquid covers at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the meat before popping it into the oven at 300 degrees. If the gravy tastes too tart after several hours of braising, add more sugar (I added prunes one time). I like to add sliced carrots after the meat is fully cooked so they are tender but not mushy. Before serving, it’s best to take off the fat from the gravy. You can do this by removing the liquid and putting it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The fat will harden and then skim off and you are left with a wonderful reduction. Garnish with generous amounts of chopped parsley, mint, Meyer lemon zest and pomegranate seeds. Zaatar and pomegranate molasses can be found in Middle Eastern stores. Zaatar is like thyme with sesame seeds and pomegranate molasses is simple syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar. Enjoy!