Yield: 8 servings.
4 cloves garlic, crushed, divided
1 bunch fresh thyme, divided
4 tsp. cracked peppercorns, divided
4 cups red wine, divided
2 1/2 lb. fresh American lamb, boneless shoulder or leg, trimmed and cut into 2" cubes
to taste, salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups dried black mission figs, stems removed
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Prepare two seasoning packets. Using a potato peeler, peel large pieces of skin from orange. Divide orange peel, garlic, thyme and peppercorns into 2 cheese cloth packets. Tie to secure.
In large bowl, combine 1/2 cup wine and 1 seasoning packet. Add lamb; refrigerate and marinate for 4 hours. Drain lamb, discard marinade and seasoning packet. Season lamb with salt and pepper. In large oven-proof pan with cover, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Brown lamb in portions, adding more oil as needed and set aside. Sautè onion and carrots for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lamb, remaining 31/2 cups wine, chicken broth, second seasoning packet and figs. Bring to a boil. Cover and braise in 300°F oven for 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven, discard seasoning packet. Sprinkle with parsley. (Tip: Pre-cut lamb stew meat can be used in this recipe.)
Photo Credit: American Lamb
Recipe Provided by: Chef Melissa Perello, formerly of Charles Nob Hill Restaurant (San Francisco).