This recipe also came from Big City Cooking. I had been wanting to try it for a while but could never find all the ingredients. Now that I live in a big city, I was able to find them all except the Fregula (which I will admit I didn’t look very hard) so I used Israeli couscous as it suggested. The seeds at the end give the meal a great texture so I highly recommend using them.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large carrot, cute into about ¾ inch dice
- 2 shallots, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 2 cups pomegranate juice or 1 cup red wine (I used red wine)
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp finely chopped orange zest
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- Kosher salt
- 1 ½ cup fregula or substitute Israeli couscous (I used Israeli couscous)
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
To Make the Stew:
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Season the lamb pieces with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in the oil, working in batches if necessary, so they are not crowded, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl. Add 1 tbsp or more of oil to the pot, if necessary, and sauté the carrot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots, cumin, cayenne, and ginger and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices. Add the pomegranate juice (or win) and saffron. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. If using pomegranate juice, cook until reduced to about ½ cup, 15 to 20 minutes and if using red wine, cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Return the lamb and any juices to the pot, add the chicken stock and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for about 1.2 hour, removing the cover to skim the liquid occasionally and make sure that the stew remains at a gentle simmer. Uncover and cook for another hour, or until the lamb is tender and the liquid has thickened. Add the pomegranate molasses and season with salt and pepper.
To Make the Fregula:
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the chicken stock and the saffron. If using low-sodium broth, add 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and add the fregula. Decrease the heat to low and cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with Salt
Divide the fregula among 4 bowls and top with stew. Garnish with min and pomegranate seeds, if desired.
Depending upon the richness of the stock, you may want to use more or less pomegranate molasses, so add 1 tbsp at a time and taste after each addition.