Crown of lamb with a crust of dekel noor dates and pistachios for Rosh Hashanah
A festive dish that will enhance the holiday table and lead to cries of amazement from the diners.
This recipe is from Haaretz's archives.
A festive dish that will enhance the holiday table and lead to cries of amazement from the diners. The crust, which is made of hard and not too sweet dekel noor dates, caramelizes the edges of the meat and suits the delicate flavor of lamb. Serves five or six.
1 crown of lamb, fat removed
and ribs exposed
10-12 pitted dekel noor dates
1/2 cup (60 gm.) shelled pistachio nuts
1/2 cup (60 gm.) roasted hazelnuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 hot green pepper (optional)
1/4 cup (60 ml.) olive oil
Ask the butcher to prepare the row of ribs for roasting. Make sure to use the section near the neck and not the one further down, which is actually a T-bone rather than ribs. Get rid of the layers of fat, and clean the bones. Figure on two or three ribs per person, and ask the butcher to saw off the connecting bone in the lower part of the crown, to make it easy to separate them. Wrap each bone in aluminum foil separately so it won’t burn in the oven.
In a food processor with a stainless steel blade grind together the dates, pistachios, nuts, garlic and green pepper in pulses, until you get a coarse and grainy texture. Drip in the oil through the opening of the cover while continuing to process for about 10 more seconds.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Spread the date and nut mixture on the outer part of the crown of lamb and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, only until the crust browns somewhat and the fat inside bubbles. Lower the temperature to 160 degrees and roast for about five or 10 more minutes. Make sure not to roast the meat too long − it should be pinkish in color and semi-raw in texture.
Serve on a cutting board at the table and slice in front of the diners. Place on a platter on scalded mangold leaves or a delicate root puree.