Whole-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Pomegranate
Ingredients for Brine:
3 gallons water
2 lbs kosher salt
10 oz sugar
1 lb whole garlic, heads cut in half
1/2 cup whole allspice
1/2 cup black peppercorns
1/2 cup fennel seed
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch savory
Preparing the Brine:
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Chill thoroughly before using.
Ingredients for the Whole-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Pomegranate:
1 Whole lamb shoulder, bone-in, approximately 6 lbs
1 recipe House Brine
1 quart fresh pomegranate juice
1 quart dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water with 1 tsp baking soda
1 quart water
2 sprigs mint
¼ cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Preparing the Whole-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Pomegranate:
Using a fork, puncture the lamb shoulder on all sides. Submerge the lamb in the brine for 48 hours, using a weight if necessary to make sure the lamb is completely submerged. Remove the lamb shoulder from the brine and pat dry. Prepare a charcoal fire and grill the lamb shoulder over indirect heat for approximately 45 minutes on each side, being careful to avoid flare-ups from the dripping fat.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the lamb from the grill and place in a deep roasting pan or rondeau. Drain the chickpeas and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Add the chickpeas and pomegranate juice to the lamb. Add enough water to barely cover the lamb. Cover the roasting pan with a double layer of foil and place in the oven. Braise the lamb in the oven for approximately five hours, or until the meat is easily separated from the bone. Baste the lamb with the braising liquid at least once every hour.
Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to cool in the braising liquid for one hour. Remove the lamb from the roasting pan and transfer the braising liquid to a large saucepot. Simmer the liquid over medium-high heat, skimming regularly to remove excess fat. When the braising liquid is reduced to the point that it coats the back of a spoon (you should have approximately 1 quart of liquid) remove it from the heat and stir in the mint sprigs and parsley.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Return the lamb to the roasting pan and spoon one cup of the reserved braising liquid on top of the lamb. Place roasting pan in the oven for approximately 5 minutes, or until the surface of the lamb is caramelized. Remove the lamb to a warm platter. Spoon the reduced braising liquid and chickpeas on top of the lamb. Serve immediately with Persian rice or Moroccan couscous.