Recipe Provided ByChef Michael P. Scelfo
- 2 tablespoons ground fennel seed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 5 pounds boneless American Lamb breast/belly
- 2 apples, rough chop
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 6 shallots
- 2 carrots, rough chop
- 2 celery, rough chop
- 3 cups brewed coffee, chilled
- 2 cups sherry
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- 12 large sage leaves
- 1/2 pound roasted dried dates, pitted and halved, roasted
- Minced parsley, as desired
- Orange zest, as desired
Dukkah Spice Mix:
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup whole cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
In a small bowl, mix fennel seed with 2 tablespoons of oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Rub mixture all over lamb. In a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil; add lamb and brown well over moderately high heat, about 20 minutes. Transfer lamb to a large plate; wipe out the casserole.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil into casserole; brown apples, garlic, shallots, carrots and celery. Return lamb to the casserole. Add coffee and sherry; reduce by half. Add stock, bay leaves and sage; bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; transfer casserole to oven. Braise lamb at 350°F for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, turning the meat occasionally, until tender.
Transfer lamb to a large platter; cover with foil. Discard vegetables, sage and bay leaves. Simmer braising liquid until reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about 50 minutes.
For the Dukkah Spice Mix: On a baking sheet, spread sesame seeds out in a single layer. Roast at 350°F for about 2 minutes each side. Remove from oven; set aside. Place almonds on same baking sheet; roast for about 3 minutes each side. Remove; combine with sesame seeds.
In a food processor, combine sesame seeds and almonds, fennel seeds, cardamom, salt and peppercorns; grind for 2 to 4 minutes, until ground.
To serve, slice the lamb, transfer to plates or a platter and spoon sauce on top. Sprinkle with Dukkah Spice Mix and a few roasted dates. Sprinkle with minced parsley and orange zest if desired.