Israeli-born chef-owner Meny Vaknin of MishMish Café in Montclair, New Jersey, is making some seriously crave-worthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, such as this braised lamb shoulder with caramelized onions dish. Vaknnin, who took home the top prize on Chopped Champions, marries the French techniques and expertise he learned in culinary school with the flavors, ingredients and memories of his childhood. A good slow braise is about as delicious as cold-weather food gets, so break out your Dutch oven and prepare to get cooking!
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, diced
- 2 yellow onions, sliced julienne
- 6 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- radish, thinly sliced
- grape tomatoes, halved
For the lamb
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a large heavy skillet or a clay tajine, heat oil and brown the diced lamb over medium fire. When complete, place the lamb on a plate with paper towel.
In the same oil, sauté the sliced onions until golden brown.
Add all spices into caramelized onions with a tablespoon of stock to create a loose paste.
Add back the diced lamb, remaining stock, garlic cloves and half of the cilantro. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and place in the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven and garnish with the remaining cilantro, arugula, halved grape tomatoes, thinly sliced radish, and extra-virgin olive oil.