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Grandma Taguhi's Armenian Lamb

Prep Time:

45 minutes

Cook Time:

2.5 hours





About the Recipe

This recipe adapts Taguhi's amazing Lamb with Adjar Pilaf recipe for the home cook...after all, we can't all be so lucky to have a tonir in our backyard!


for the lamb:

2 ea bone-in lamb shank, approx 1-1.5 lb each

2 Tbs kosher salt

1 Tbs aleppo pepper

tt dmak (optional - can also use lard or more clarified butter if desired)

for the adjar:

2 ea yellow onions

12 oz button or cremini mushrooms

2 Tbs + 2 Tbs clarified butter

2 c adjar

4 c water

2 tsp kosher salt

for the veggie rack:

10 ea potatoes

7 ea white onions

3 ea bell peppers

1 Tbs kosher salt


Preheat your oven to 500F. Place the oven rack in the bottom of the oven. 

Arrange the lamb on a plate. Season liberally with the salt and aleppo pepper on all sides. Set aside.

Grease a large, deep roasting pan, then begin to prepare the adjar. Slice the onions and mushrooms. Heat 2 of the tablespoons of clarified butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add in the onions and mushrooms and stir to coat in butter. Saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer from the pan to a plate and set aside. 

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of clarified butter in a medium pot, again over medium low heat. Stir in the adjar, and saute until the grains begin to sing, a minute or two, stirring often. Add in the water and salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until about half of the water has absorbed into the adjar. Turn off the heat, and transfer the adjar to the greased roasting pan. Lay the onion/mushroom mixture over the top.

Cut the potatoes and onions into quarters, and the bell peppers in half, removing the seeds. Wedge a roasting rack into the pilaf, then arrange the vegetables evenly over the top of the pilaf, and season with salt.

Place the seasoned lamb in the rack, arranged so it will cook evenly, then top with extra fat if using. Place the roasting pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the lamb is beginning to caramelize, then lower the heat to 375F and continue to cook for 1 hour to 1½ hours, until the lamb is cooked to your desired doneness, and the pilaf is tender. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes covered in foil before serving.

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