Avya Yahnisi - Meat - Poultry
* 3 Tbs. sugar
* 8 fl. oz. pomegranate juice
* pinch of ground cloves
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 Tbs. butter
* 2 Tbs. light olive oil
* 2 quinces, peeled, cored, and halved
* 2 lb. boned lamb shoulder
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (divided)
* 1 Tbs. lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Trim excess fat from the lamb and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Heat the oil over high heat in a large saucepan or small stew pot. Brown the lamb in batches, removing it to a plate when browned. Reduce the heat, add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until onion softens. Add the pomegranate juice and stir well, to mix in the browned juices. Return lamb to the pan and add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, the allspice, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for one hour.
Cut each quince half into quarters. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the quinces and cook over medium heat for several minutes, turning the pieces from time to time. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, cloves, and sugar, and place on top of the lamb in the pan. Add the lemon juice, cover, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the lamb is tender, shaking the pan occasionally.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Also, adding a bit more lemon juice (maybe another tablespoon) brings out the sweetness. Serve hot. Serves 6.
Note: Pomegranate juice is fairly common at ethnic grocers who carry foods from the eastern Mediterranean. If you can't find juice, you can use pomegranate syrup and dilute it, 4 tsp. of syrup mixed with water to make 8 fl. oz. As a last resort, you could use a tablespoon of tomato paste mixed in water, again to make 8 fl. oz. It won't be quite the same, but it will still be tasty.