Pomegranate-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Fava Beans

from Chef Todd Aarons, Tierra Sur Restaurant at The Herzog Wine Cellars

Wine Pairings: Herzog Special Reserve Syrah, Edna Valley


4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder roast*
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Spice mixture:
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice berries
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons pure olive oil
1 large yellow onion, large dice
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (enough stock to come up half the height of the roast in the pan)
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
3 cups dried yellow skinless fava beans soaked in cold water for 2 hours
Salt to taste
Seeds of 1 pomegranate for garnish


Preheat oven to 325°F.

Wipe the roast clean of any excess blood or moisture with a paper towel.

Prepare the spice mixture by grinding it in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. While it is possible to buy ground spices, you will preserve the intense and aromatic qualities of these spices by grinding your own.

Season your roast with kosher salt, then spread the spice mixture onto a sheet tray and roll the roast in the spices until it is encrusted with the mixture.

Heat a large braising pan with the pure olive oil and brown the roast on all sides over a medium flame.

Remove the roast from the pan and place on a plate. Do not discard the oil in the pan.  Use the hot oil and rendered fat in the pan to sauté your onion and garlic.

Once translucent, return the lamb roast and any juices it released back to the pan and nestle amongst the onions.  Add the stock, pomegranate molasses and soaked favas into the braising pan. If using store-bought stock, be careful to not over-salt the roast. The liquid should cover half the lamb roast.

Place a piece of parchment paper over the roast and cover either with the lid or a tightly fitted piece of foil. Put the pan in the oven and braise for 2 hours, flipping the shoulder half way through so that the uncovered portion is submerged in the braising liquid.

Allow roast to rest, loosely covered, for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.


Yield: Makes 6-8 servings.

* Have your butcher either net the roast or tie it to keep the meat together