Lamb and rhubarb khoresh

I tasted a rhubarb and lamb dish in New Zealand, which the cook said was adapted from NZ chef Julie Le Clerc. The dish has Persian roots — the sweet/sour pomegranate and rhubarb flavours complement the sweet earthiness of fresh lamb.

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1kg diced leg lamb
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 c hot chicken stock
  • 1 T pomegranate molasses
  • 1-2 thyme leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful (or package) fresh mint leaves, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces (approx 1 c cut-up rhubarb)
  • honey for drizzling (optional)

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan, and brown the lamb, in batches, on all sides. Remove each batch once it has browned, drain, reserve and keep warm.

Add onion to the pan and cook until golden. Return the lamb to the casserole, season, add the stock. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Stir in about half the herbs. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes. Add the rhubarb, stir and cook for 10-15 minutes without the lid. The rhubarb should be tender, but not mushy. Check the seasoning, add a squeeze of fresh lemon if necessary to balance sweet /sour, then stir in the rest of the herbs. Serve with rice or pita bread and yogurt, drizzled with honey, if desired.

Serves 6-8.