Lamb Pita Pockets with Tomato-Ginger Compote
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
City Winery chef Andres Barrera slow-roasts lamb until tender, then stuffs it into warm pitas along with pickled red onions, feta cheese and a bright-flavored tomato-ginger compote (also great on a burger or cheese plate).
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- Kosher salt
- Four 1-pound lamb shanks
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 warmed pita breads, halved
- Tomato-Ginger Compote, for serving
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest with the oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and 2 teaspoons of salt. Rub the mixture all over the lamb shanks.
- In a large enameled, cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the shanks and cook over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Cover and bake the shanks in the oven for about 2 hours, until very tender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the onion with the vinegar; season with salt. Let stand at room temperature, tossing a few times, until softened, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the lamb shanks to a bowl. Set the casserole over high heat. Add the water and boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Pour the liquid into a small bowl and skim the fat from the surface.
- Pull the meat from the bones in large shreds, discarding the fat and gristle. Transfer the lamb to a bowl. Add the cooking juices and toss well. Season with salt.
- Spoon the shredded lamb into the pita and spread a thick layer of the Tomato-Ginger Compote on top. Garnish with the pickled red onion and feta and serve.
Lamb is a classic match for the red wines of Rioja in Spain.