Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Soul warming braised lamb

Braised Lamb with Almonds and mint, barley and roasted tomatoes
I started the Braised Lamb with Almonds and Mint by Mario Leon from the November Bon Appetit last night. It needs to cook for over 1 1/2 hour so it's not something to start when you get home late from work but good for a weekend or to do like I did and cook the night. The recipe is from a Basque restaurant and I wasn't sure what to serve with it. I decided on roasted tomatoes and barley. I know, not traditional but I had more home grown tomatoes I needed to use. I started the barley and tomatoes while I made fig preserves for my Dad's 86th birthday, 11/11/11. Here's the link from Bon Appetit

Basque Braised Lamb my way

~1 1/2 pounds trimmed lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2"–2" cubes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled, cored and pressed 
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups canned tomato juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
small carrots, chopped 
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook lamb until golden brown on all sides, 7–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer browned lamb to a medium bowl and set aside.

Add onions to same pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened and light golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add wine and reserved browned lamb along with any accumulated juices. Simmer lamb until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato juice, chicken broth, ground cumin and paprika and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Return lamb to a pan and re-heat. Add chopped carrot and cook un-covered, stirring occasionally, until carrot is tender and sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Garnish lamb with almonds and mint.

Barley and Roasted Tomatoes

1 cup pearled barley
2 cups chicken stock
6-8 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine barley, chicken stock and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for approximately 40 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine tomatoes, olive oil, shallot and season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 20-30 minutes. Stir once or twice.

Serve tomatoes over barley with braised lamb. Garnish with almonds and mint.

This was a wonderful combination, rich and warming, perfect for a cold fall night. This dish benefited from sitting overnight, the flavors melded beautifully. Serve with red wine. Enjoy!


  1. I love lamb!! Not many people cook it because I think they're intimidated..but this looks soo good!

  2. Sebia, I love how you take the time to make these dishes ~ this Basque entrée sounds divine!

  3. thanks Abbey. I need to take pictures more often. You're an inspiration. Your cupcakes are adorable.

  4. thanks Adeline. That empty nest thing! Your blog looks great. I want to remember to got to French flea market. Looks great.