Hummus with Fresh Beans and Lamb | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Hummus with Fresh Beans and Lamb

Hummus with Fresh Beans and Lamb

4 cups of basic Tehina sauce, 3 1/2 cups of Hummus Tehina, 8 servings of Lamb

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One of my favorite things about summer is the arrival of shell beans. I can never eat enough English peas, fava beans, or fresh chickpeas. I’ll take a giant bowl of buttered English peas over an ounce of white truffles any day. There is just something luxurious about being able to eat large quantities of even the most humble ingredients when they are at their peak and available in abundance.

This recipe is my reimagined mashup of the Masabacha, Foul, and Jerusalem hummus traditions. I replace dried fava beans and chickpeas with their fresh counterparts and fold them into a stew of braised lamb. Ladled into the center of a bowl of hummus and accompanied by fresh pita, this is a complete and extremely satisfying meal.

(As a line cook, I used to dread coming face to face with a bushel of fresh fava beans that needed to be shelled and peeled, but I’ve actually come to enjoy the Zen of it. Pour yourself a glass of whatever you’re drinking and get lost in the repetition.)

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Basic Tehina Sauce:
1  head garlic
¾ cup lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 generous cups tehina
½ teaspoon ground cumin

Hummus Tehina:
1 cup dried chickpeas 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 ½ cups Basic Tehina Sauce, plus a bit more for the topping
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
¼  teaspoon ground cumin
Chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil, for drizzling

The Zahav Lamb Shoulder:
Generous 1/4 cup kosher salt 
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoons fennel seeds 
1 teaspoons black peppercorns 
1 teaspoons allspice berries 
1 heads garlic, halved crosswise 
1 cups dried chickpeas 
1 teaspoons baking soda 
1 bone - in square - cut lamb shoulder (about 5 pounds) 
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses 
Persian Rice, optional


To make the beans:
Combine 1 ½ cups shredded meat and ½ cup sauce left over from the Zahav Lamb Shoulder or other braised meat with 1 cup shelled fava beans (boiled for 1 minute and peeled), or green chickpeas, in a saucepan. Warm the mixture over medium heat until the meat is heated through and the fava beans are tender. Fold 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice into the meat. Serve over 1 recipe of Hummus Tehina.

Basic Tehina Sauce:

Break up the head of garlic with your hands, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender. Add the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have a coarse puree. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the tehina to the strained lemon juice in the bowl, along with the cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt. 
Whisk the mixture together until smooth (or use a food processor), adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out. The sauce will lighten in color as you whisk. When the tehina seizes up or tightens, keep adding ice water, bit by bit (about 1 1/2 cups in total), whisking energetically until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce. 
Taste and add up to 1 1/2 teaspoons more salt and cumin if you like. If you're not using the sauce immediately, whisk in a few tablespoons of ice water to loosen it before refrigerating. The tehina sauce will keep a week refrigerated, or it can be frozen for up to a month.

Hummus Tehina:

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.) Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.

Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don't worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain.

Combine the chickpeas, tehina sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Purse the hummus for several minutes, until it is smooth and Auber-creamy. Then puree it some more!

The Zahav Lamb Shoulder:

Combine the salt with the sugar, fennel seeds, peppercorns, allspice, garlic, and about 2 quarts water in a large pot.  Bring to a rapid boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and allow the brine to cool completely.

Combine the chickpeas with the baking soda in a large bowl and cover with water by several inches. Let soak overnight.

Put the shoulder in a large (6- to 8- quart) container and pour the brine over the lamb. (Ideally, the lamb shoulder should be submerged, so weight it with two plates. But if that’s impractical, cover the lamb with a clean cloth that’ saturated in the brine.) Refrigerate the lamb shoulder in the brine overnight or for up to 48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.  Place a rack on a baking sheet.  Drain the lamb and pat dry.  Put the lamb on the rack and roast until well browned on the exterior, about 30 minutes. (Or sear the lamb over a medium-hot grill for 15 minutes until well browned on all sides and nicely charred in places.) Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Transfer the lamb shoulder to a large roasting pan. Mix the pomegranate molasses with 8 cups water in a bowl and add to the pan. (The liquid should come about halfway up the shoulder; add water if needed.)  Drain the chickpeas and add them to the liquid.  Place a sheet of parchment paper over the lamb and cover the pan tightly with foil.

Braise in the oven until the lamb shreds easily with a fork and the chickpeas are tender, about 5 hours.  Let the lamb cool in its braising liquid in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.  Roast the lamb, uncovered, spooning the braising liquid over the lamb every 5 minutes, until the lamb is hot through and glazed with the liquid, about 30 minutes.

Hummus with Fresh Beans and Lamb from Zahav, © 2015 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Michael Solomonov is a chef based in Philadelphia.