Braised Leg of Lamb Cleopatra

Photo by Tempest R.
Adapted from online.wsj.com

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

-8 servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Adapted from online.wsj.com

Ingredients

  • For the Spice Mix:

  • 3

    tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2

    teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1

    teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1

    tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1/2

    teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)

  • 1/2

    tablespoon ground fennel seeds

  • 1

    tablespoon ground cardamom

  • 1

    teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2

    teaspoon ground star anise

  • 1

    pinch of ground cloves

  • 1

    teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • For the Lamb:

  • 1

    whole leg of lamb (5-6 pounds), fat and hipbone removed

  • 3

    cloves garlic cut lengthwise into sticks, plus 5 cloves sliced crosswise

  • 5

    tablespoons spice mix (see recipe above)

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 3

    cups sliced onions

  • 4

    cups peeled, chopped carrots

  • 3

    cups coarsely chopped celery

  • 2

    cups roughly chopped fennel bulb

  • 1

    jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

  • 4

    cups peeled, cored, coarsely chopped tomatoes

  • 1

    cup white wine

  • 6

    cups chicken stock

  • 1/4

    cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

  • For the Couscous:

  • 2

    cups chicken stock

  • 1

    teaspoon honey

  • 1/2

    tablespoon spice mix (see recipe above)

  • 1

    pound instant couscous

  • 1/4

    cup golden raisins

  • 3

    tablespoons butter

  • 1/4

    cup toasted pine nuts

  • 2

    tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

To Make Spice Mix: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Set aside. To Make Lamb: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a small knife to make 18 deep incisions around the entire leg of lamb. Push a garlic stick into each incision. Rub lamb all over with 4 tablespoons spice mix and salt and pepper to taste. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a deep roasting pan over high heat. Add lamb and brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Add sliced garlic, onions, carrots, celery, fennel and jalapeño, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, another tablespoon spice mix and 1 teaspoon salt, stir to combine and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast, turning vegetables and lamb every 10-15 minutes, 1 hour. In a large pot over high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add stock to roasting pan and cover again tightly. Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees and cook, turning lamb and vegetables every 20 minutes, until meat is very tender and sauce reduces to 1½-2 cups, 2½-3 hours. Remove pan from oven and carefully transfer lamb to a warmed large, deep serving dish. Spoon vegetables around lamb and tent with foil to keep warm. Stir parsley and remaining olive oil into sauce in roasting pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm. To Make Couscous: Decrease oven temperature to 250 degrees. In a large, heavy pot over high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil, then add honey and spice mix and cook until honey is dissolved. Add couscous and raisins and mix well. Immediately remove pot from heat and cover tightly with foil. Transfer pot to oven and cook until couscous absorbs water, 15 minutes. Remove pot from oven, discard foil, add butter and fluff with a fork. Transfer couscous to a warm serving bowl and sprinkle with pine nuts and cilantro. To Serve: Pour sauce over lamb and vegetables. Serve couscous on the side and carve lambs at table.

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