I had auntie Shahla bring back pomegranate molasses for me from Bahrain. While it can often be too tart, adding it to the sauce gives it a tangy edge that is balanced out by the sugar and the lemon juice, whose acidity somehow softens the degree of the pomegranate's tartness. The result is a rich and robust sauce that is intense in flavour and absolutely delicious.
2 tablespoons canola oil
Four lamb shoulder chops or shanks
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup water
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1 inch rings
1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup Medjool dates (or other types of dried dates)
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add 2 tablespoon oil to hot pan and brown 2 lambs on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Pour off fat and add 1/4 cup of red wine, scraping up sugars stuck to bottom of pan. Strain over lamb, then wipe clean. Repeat with the other two lambs.
Once browned, sprinkle cumin over lamb, then return lamb into heavy, oven-proofed pan.
Add garlic, carrot, remaining 1 1/2 cups wine, dates and onion into pan and top it off with enough water so that the liquid reaches half way up the chops.
Add twice with baking foil and seal tightly, then place cover over it and braise for about 3 hours, until the meat begins to fall apart when poked.
Remove lamb and carrots, then strain juices into a bowl. Refrigerate sauce and skim off fat that rises to surface.
Boil liquid over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes or until reduced by half.
Stir in pomegranate molasses and butter, if using. Season with salt and pepper, then add lemon juice and sugar.
Return lamb and carrots into the pan with the sauce, and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, turning lambs to glaze and coat it with the sauce.
Serve with Greek yogurt.