Recipe: Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate-Tamarind Sauce

Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate-Tamarind Sauce

By Aarón Sánchez - - Aug 29, 2013

Leave it to lamb to stand up to this bold sauce, a syrupy, deep-dark liquid that you’ll be tempted to eat by the spoonful.

Servings: 4


Tamarind-Pasilla Paste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, and deveined
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups strained tamarind pulp
Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate-Tamarind Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (such as Pom brand)
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
  • 1/4 tamarind-pasilla paste
  • One 1 1/2-to 2-pound boneless lamb loin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds


Tamarind-Pasilla Paste
1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Line a plate with paper towels.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium-high heat until it begins to dance. Add the pasillas and fry on both sides until they're puffed up, about 15 seconds total. Transfer the chiles to the paper towels to drain. Put them in a small bowl, pour in the boiling water, and let them soak until they're soft, about 15 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve them and the soaking liquid separately.
3. Discard the oil and wipe the skillet clean. Set it back over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, toss the onion, garlic, and tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss gently, and put them in the hot skillet. Cook about 7 minutes on each side, until they're charred, with visible black spots. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl and let them cool to room temperature.
4. Put the tamarind pulp, chiles, 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, and the roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.

Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate-Tamarind Sauce
1. Combine the sugar, juice, stock, and tamarind-pasilla paste in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat so the mixture simmers. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid has thickened and reduced to a little less than 1 cup, about 20 minutes. Turn the heat to very low and keep sauce warm while you cook the lamb.
2. While the sauce is cooking, heat a large overproof skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle the lamb with the olive oil, season generously with salt, and place in the pan. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, transfer to a cutting board, and let rest for 3 minutes. Cut the lamb crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
3. Put the slices on plates and spoon on the sauce. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve right away.