Zahav Lamb Shoulder

I would like to make Zahav's Lamb Shoulder -- for the first time. There are several recipes on the web, and they all call for different cooking temperatures 300F (http://andrewzimmern.com/2015/10/20/zahav-lamb-shoulder/), 325F (https://www.pannacooking.com/recipes/zahav-lamb-shoulder-michael-solomonov) and 350F (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Platelist/recipes-michael-solomonovs-laffa-bread-hummas-masbacha-lamb/story?id=13773146), etc. If you made this dish, which temperature did you use? I usually slow cook lamb way below 300F, but there are chickpeas involved in this recipe... Would appreciate any tips, pointers. Thanks!

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Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard June 6, 2016

If you haven't already made it, you might try sending a message to Phyllis Grant, since she cooked over 20 recipes from it for the Piglet, perhaps that was one she tried!

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy June 6, 2016

I'll definitely send Phyllis a message -- the dish is a little bit of an undertaking, so I am not surprised that few (or none?) have cooked it. Plus, I am still trying to locate the right piece of lamb :)

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Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard June 7, 2016

Good luck and keep us updated with how it goes!

Phyllis Grant
Phyllis Grant June 7, 2016

I did not make the lamb shoulder recipe but I just read through it and it sounds wonderful. But oh my goodness what a production! I often brown my shoulder before putting it in the oven covered at 300F for 4-5 hours. Sometimes I submerge it in wine and tomato sauce. Sometimes I just tuck in slices of garlic and rosemary and slow-cook it without liquid. It's kind of hard to mess it up. That's why I love braising meat! I would say following the Zahav recipe faithfully would be a good idea. What a payoff! Or, google Jamie Oliver's lamb shoulder recipes for some much simpler ideas. Let me know what you make or if you have any more questions.

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy June 7, 2016

Thanks for getting back! And you are right, this dish is a production. I like to slow roast meat at low temperatures (like 220F for 7 hours) and the meat is oh-so-wonderful, so I wondered if it would work here, but then there are chickpeas involved??? That question aside, there are still many things in the Zahav recipe that are giving me hard time. I still have not acquired the lamb, but yesterday I did an experiment with pork roast (it was much cheaper than oh-so-expensive lamb shoulder). I followed the Zahav process exactly and roasted the meat at 300F for five hours in an 8 qt Dutch oven with a lid. The meat is great, but I ended up with A LOT of liquid. A LOT. The pork is now resting in the braise in the refrigerator, and I am supposed to finish the dish tonight, but I do not see how all this liquid will reduce to a thick glaze that we see in the pictures of the dish on the Internet. Also, 1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses barely yielded any flavor, so I am wondering if 1/2 cup is a typo? Finally, the recipe does not say what to do with the chickpeas, do they accompany the meat in the final roast or not (I suppose not, but I could be wrong)? Any thoughts and ideas are much appreciated.

Phyllis Grant
Phyllis Grant June 8, 2016

sorry i didn't get back to you yesterday. after braising for many hours, i often remove the meat and separately reduce down the remaining liquid. so i guess that's what i would do with the lamb. i would remove the meat, strain out the chick peas, and then reduce down the liquid. before reducing it you could add wine and more pomegranate molasses. once it's it's reduced and thick, stir in the chick peas and spoon it all over the meat.

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy June 8, 2016

That's exactly what I did (great minds think alike - ha ha ha). I added a tablespoon of Dijon and about 1/2 cup more of the molasses (without that the sauce did not have any pronounced flavor. Next time I am adding a garlic clove.). Reduced the sauce to a thick syrup and then basted the meat with it during the final roast. And I pretty much arrived to the dish they show in the pictures!!! Yay to that. Another observation for those brave enough to go on this journey is that the recipe does not call for any salt and pepper other than those used in the brine. That did not work either and the meat was very under-seasoned (serves me well for following the recipe 100% percent, and not trusting my gut), so next time I will season the meat before browning it.

Susan W
Susan W June 8, 2016

Sashy, I am so impressed with you. Did you find a shoulder with ribs attached? I'm buying a side of lamb and my farmer has had to request a special cut from his butcher for me. Can't wait to make this with your adjustments.

QueenSashy
QueenSashy June 8, 2016

Susan, I did not find the shoulder with the ribs attached, I am still shopping around and you are one lucky individual to have it! I will be making another attempt at the roast later this week. If you are interested in making the dish, I would be happy to type in exactly what I did and email it to you, because I feel that the recipe in the book might have been written in a bit of a rush...

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Susan W
Susan W June 8, 2016

Sashy, I would love to get the details. I only have one of these roasts, so your detailed experience would be appreciated.

Are you in the states? I forget where you are. I didn't find my lamb farmer using this, but I have referred a few clients to this resource and they have been happy with it. www.eatwild.com

I'll message you my email.

TomMeg
TomMeg January 8, 2019

I just made this last night and ran into a lot of the same issues QueenSashy mentions below (underseasoned brine, not enough pomegranate flavor in the braise). There is a very different version of this recipe on the Wine Spectator website (apparently posted in 2013) that seems much more likely to get you closer to the dish served in the restaurant. Basically, the brine is 5X more concentrated, and the braising liquid is mostly pomegranate juice (not molasses) plus a little water.

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy January 8, 2019

I played with the recipe and changed it quite a bit to arrive at a bullet-proof version I now make quite often. Brine remains the same. For the braise: 8 cups of water, 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar, 2 bay leaves. Roast at 190-200F for about 16 hours. Then reduce the liquid to a thick syrup. Forget about chickpeas. I would be happy to send you the complete recipe.

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