A robust Middle Eastern Lamb recipe that is perfectly seasoned with paprika and cooked with shallots and mushrooms. This simple, easy lamb recipe will surely be one of your favorites since it’s simple and quick enough to be a weeknight meal but fancy enough to be a Sunday dinner.
Smoke and spicy aromas wafting through the lanes of ancient Aleppo, welcoming weary tradesmen at the end of the Silk Road. Laden with silk, fine porcelain, bronze, chinese paper, tea, rice, ivory, rhino horns, turtle shells and spices such as cinnamon and ginger. Relieved businessmen found refuge at Aleppo, collapsing to a feast of Aleppo lamb, potatoes and possibly peas. All is good…
Lamb and fish are popular meat items in Syria. Syrian cuisine is a continuation of Ottoman cuisine with influences from Greece, central Asia, Israel, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. It is lighter on the spices than it’s neighbors but full of flavor.
What is Aleppo Pepper?
Aleppo pepper is what gives this dish its name. This red chile pepper is somewhere between red pepper flakes and paprika in its heat and flavor. It is a little fruity and a little salty. Salt is used in the drying process. It ranks about 10,000 on the Scoville scale similar to a jalapeño pepper. I use it in any dish that calls for chile powder, its my favorite chile powder.
In turkey, Aleppo pepper is known as pul biber and in Armenia haleb biber.
Because of the conflict in Syria, botanist have secured Aleppo pepper seeds and are growing it outside of Syria in neighboring countries to ensure the pepper doesn’t go extinct.
You may purchase Aleppo Pepper Here: Crushed Aleppo Pepper, 4oz, also called Halaby pepper used in Turkish cooking, Kosher
Other uses for Aleppo Pepper
You can use Aleppo Pepper anywhere you need to use chile powder. I like the moderate heat in Aleppo Pepper, that way I am not afraid to use maybe a full tsp in a dish. With other chile powders like cayenne, a small deviation in amounts may have a huge effect. I think the pepper is a little smokey too with some cumin undertones.
- stir frys
- soups & stews
- marinades to add a little heat
- taco seasoning
- salsas to add a throaty heat
This dish is easy without any special or hard to find ingredients. If you don’t have Aleppo pepper you can substitute paprika. The flavor and character of the lamb is allowed to shine with just a light touch of seasonings and an ale. Mashed potatoes with sour cream and Paprika make a great pairing to the rich lamb and mushrooms.
The first time I made this dish I tried it with Leg of Lamb since it is quite a bit cheaper. This was a mistake as the meat is too tough for this kind of dish. Be sure to splurge a little on the lamb shoulder chops and you won’t be disappointed.
Let me know how yours turns out or if you have a special seasoning blend for lamb.
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