Iraqi Lamb And Eiggplant Stew With Pitas
|Kosher salt||To Taste|
|Eggplant||1 Large, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick|
|Vegetable oil||6 1⁄2 Tablespoon (1/4 Cup Plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons)|
|Lamb shanks||5 Pound (4 Pieces, About 1 1/4 Pounds Each)|
|Freshly ground pepper||To Taste|
|White onion||1 Large, chopped|
|Pomegranate molasses||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Dried yellow split peas||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Dried red chiles||4|
|Baharat spice blend/Garam masala||2 Teaspoon|
|Ground coriander||2 Teaspoon|
|Pita breads||8 Small, warmed and torn into large pieces|
1. In a bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 quart of water. Add the eggplant, cover with a small plate to keep the slices submerged and let soak for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning once, until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 10 minutes. Add 3 quarts of water, the pomegranate molasses, split peas, dried chilies, baharat and coriander and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, skimming and stirring a few times.
3. Drain the eggplant and pat dry. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Add one-third of the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side; transfer to paper towels to drain. Brown the remaining eggplant in the 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the eggplant to the lamb and simmer over low heat, stirring, until the lamb is tender, 45 minutes.
4. Transfer the lamb to a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. Boil the stew over high heat, skimming, until the liquid has reduced to 3 cups, about 40 minutes.
5. Return the lamb to the stew and season with salt and pepper. Divide the pita among 4 bowls. Ladle the stew on top and serve.