Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with California Figs and North African Spices

andrew@bytejockeyz.comEntrees, Holidays, Recipes

Valley Fig Growers

Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with California Figs and North African Spices

Braised lamb shoulder with North African spices is a hearty main dish with California Figs. All that’s missing with this braised lamb shoulder is couscous.
Valley Fig Growers
Servings 4 people


  • 1/3 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 4 shoulder lamb chops about 3/4" thick, trimmed of exess fat
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 2 small garlic cloves minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves minced


  • Place the figs and water in a bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the water. Cut the figs into quarters and reserve.
  • Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-bottomed non-reactive 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cooking in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, add the chops and cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chops from the pan to a plate and set aside.
  • Pour off the fat in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved soaking liquid from the figs and simmer until reduced by half, scraping the browned bits from the pan bottom with a wooden spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, honey and reserved figs, then return the chops to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chops are cooked through but tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Transfer 1 chop to each of 4 plates. Stir the parsley into the braising liquid in the skillet and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, spoon the sauce over the chops, and serve immediately.


The following recipe is reprinted with permission of Cook’s Illustrated.
Recipe source: America’s Test Kitchen. Valley Fig is a proud sponsor of the America’s Test Kitchen.

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