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Lamb with zaatar: Omar Abodib’s recipe

For 8 people

1 leg (or shoulder) of 3 kg lamb (with bone), 2 heads of garlic, 3 white onions, 8 tbsp. at s. of zaatar, ½ glass of lemon juice, olive oil, 1 liter of vegetable stock, 100 g of butter, 1 glass of white wine, sea salt, peppercorns, 2 tbsp. c. sumac (optional).

As an accompaniment: baby potatoes, fresh spinach and other vegetables (carrots, parsnips, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.).

The preparation

Please note that this recipe requires at least 5 hours of cooking. Salt and pepper the lamb on all sides. Prepare the zaatar puree: mince the cloves with a head of garlic. In a mortar, crush the minced garlic cloves, adding olive oil, until you obtain a coarse purée. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the zaatar, topping up with olive oil if necessary to obtain a fairly liquid consistency. Separate the cloves from the second head of garlic and leave them in their sleeves. Peel and cut the onions into quarters.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. In a large skillet, melt the butter, brown the lamb on both sides (it doesn’t matter if the lamb sticks out). Add the garlic cloves in a shirt, the onion in quarters and deglaze with white wine. In a large baking dish, put the lamb, the garlic cloves, the onion and the cooking juices, drizzle with a little hot vegetable broth. With a brush, brush the zaatar mixture all over the lamb. Bake at 220°C for 1 hour, at 160°C for 2 hours, then at 140°C for another 2 hours, and if necessary another 1 or 2 hours at 100°C, basting regularly with the cooking juices and adding vegetable broth if needed.

Garnish the bottom of a large dish with fresh spinach wilted in butter and garlic, remove the bone and arrange the lamb confit on top, with the garlic cloves, the cooking juices, the rest of the lemon juice and sprinkle with sumac. Serve with baby potatoes sautéed in butter and sunflower oil, garlic, lamb cooking juices and fresh coriander, or other vegetables cooked in boiling water and reheated in a hot vegetable broth.

Read also: Omar Abodib: “Etretat and Lebanon are butter and olive oil, my two cultures, my two loves”

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