Part I‘s milk-marinaded chicken was a succulent, tender grilled success. So, while we’re on a roll with this, we’re trying an overnight, milk-marinaded lamb. We’re planning to use a stew cut (1 inch cubes, from the shoulder). In the past, we’ve found this cut can be a little tough, so we have big hopes that what the dairy did for chicken, it can do for lamb too.
We went with a Tunisian flavor profile, somewhat adapted to suit what we have on hand. The lamb gets braised, and served with sauteed eggplant and over a bed of bulgur. The caraway, tomato, lemon, and cinnamon are pretty spectacular in this dish. I didn’t know what to expect with the caraway, and I’m seriously impressed now. We’ve had caraway sitting in the cabinet from experiments with rye bread, so I’m glad to find another way to use it. Anyway — highly, highly recommend this flavor profile! In hindsight, the long braising times for this recipe does so much to make the meat succulent that the milk-marinade effect might be hard to pinpoint. But. I’m craving savory and do not want to go to the store, so I’m just running with this Tunisian style Lamb and Eggplant idea. We’re adapting the linked version to sub in fresh red chili peppers and we’ve adapted some of the process based on previous braise recipes.
Tunisian Lamb with Eggplant
Adapted from Rocket Lunch
3-4 tomatoes, peeled
Preheat oven to 325.
Pull the lamb out of the milk and discard the marinade. Mix the lamb with the caraway-coriander-paprika spice mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a Dutch oven over high heat and add a good glug of olive oil to the pot. When the oil is fragrant and hot, brown the lamb in 2 or 3 batches (try to avoid overcrowding the pan). As you finish the batches, pull the meat off to a platter.
Add the remaining stew ingredients: stock, bay, cinnamon, allspice, and the reserved lamb (along with any accumulated juices). Bring to a boil. Cover with a tight lid and braise in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
While the meat gets close to finishing, prep the eggplant: Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Place the eggplant in a large colander and toss with salt. Allow to drain for 10 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry. Heat a large pan over high heat and add about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the eggplant and allow to brown for a couple of minutes. This could take a few batches. When golden brown on all sides (3 to 4 minutes), remove from heat. We never have paper towels, so we drain ours on a rack over a baking sheet.
When the 3 hours is up, check the lamb. It should be tender and close to falling apart. Cook for a little longer if needed. At this point, the original instructions have you strain the braising liquid to thicken it on the stove-top and continue to cook the meat slightly at 400 degrees. I tried this, but in hindsight, won’t bother in the future. I like the brothy-ness of the braising liquid and didn’t find that the extra heat on the meat made much difference since it was already divine.
This is delish and disappeared too quickly for photos. It’s that good!