Braised Lamb

3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 cup dry white wine
1 orange (with peel), cut into pieces
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, peeled
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh mint

Cucumber Dill Tzatziki

1 English hothouse cucumber, peeled and grated.
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1⁄2 cups warm water, divided
4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Dukkah or Za’atar for topping


Prepare oven according to Mugnaini’s Medium Roasting Environment, 550 – 625˚F

To Make the Lamb

Preheat roasting pan in oven for at least 10 minutes. While you ware waiting, pat lamb pieces dry with paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper. Pull hot pan out of the oven and add 2 tablespoons oil to the pan, put back into the oven for 30 seconds to heat up. Brown lamb (in 2 batches if the pan looks overcrowded) on all sides; 6 – 8 minutes. Since lamb browns well at a higher temperature, it is okay to start this step when the deck of the oven is around 650 – 675˚F, then allow the deck temperature to drop slightly for braising.

Once meat is browned, remove and set aside on plate. Add fennel, onion and garlic to the roasting pan and cook in rendered fat until golden brown and softened, about 6 minutes. Add wine to pan and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan, put back into the oven and reduce by half; about 5 minutes. Add orange, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, tomatoes and chicken broth to pan. Nestle lamb pieces and juices on plate into the liquid and cover tightly with foil before putting back into the oven.

Braise lamb until it is fork tender, making sure to turn the pan every half hour or so and turn meat over about half way through; total cook time should be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If your liquid level looks low during cooking, add some more chicken broth to the pan.

Once lamb is tender, pull it out of the roasting pan and put it onto a plate. Take the leftover braising liquid and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Make sure to press the juice out of the remains with a spoon.

NOTE: This step can be done a day ahead of time. To store lamb, put onto a sheet pan lined with a cooling rack and cover in the fridge overnight. Keep the reserved braising liquid in a separate bowl. On day of serving, reheat lamb in the reserved cooking liquid near the mouth of the oven.

Whisk the pomegranate molasses into the strained braising liquid and put back into the roasting pan, reduce liquid until it starts to thicken a bit, then add the lamb to reheat before serving. Serve with sprigs of fresh mint and cilantro, wood fired naan and tzatziki sauce.

To Make the Tzatziki

Put grated cucumber into a colander to drain for about 15 minutes. You can gently press on it to release a little more of its juice.

Mix drained cucumber with garlic, yogurt, dill, lemon juice and oil in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour.

To Make the Naan

In a small bowl combine the yeast and 1/2 cup of the water and stir to combine. Allow to set for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.

Place the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the 4 tablespoons oil and yogurt, stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

Stir in the remaining water and yeast mixture and mix until it comes together and is still a little “shaggy”.

Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 4 – 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Coat the bowl with the remaining oil and add the dough smooth side down and coat with oil. Turn dough over and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and allow to rise for 3 – 4 hours, until doubled in size.

Turn onto a floured surface and kneed again for 2 or 3 minutes. Divide into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Cover with a dishtowel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

With a rolling pin, roll each ball into an 9 inch oval and place on a peel. You should be able to cook at least two at a time. Slide into the oven and cook for about 2 minutes, rotating the naans half way through cooking time, they will be beginning to lightly brown. When the naan begins to puff, flatten with a clean palino.

Remove from the oven and brush lightly with the melted butter and sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon dukkah or za’atar.