By David Harbilas
I will admit that I am not a fan of the mace-like family of spices.
They seem more bitter than sweet, a flavor often not friendly to many people’s sense of taste, and they seem better suited to desserts than savory entrees.
Yet the Greeks have a long history of using spices like cinnamon and allspice in sparing amounts with great success.
The one preparation I am sure it would work well with is lamb, especially shoulder chops that have been braised in a sauce like this one. The sweet-gamy flavor of lamb lends itself to those slightly bitter flavors.
Makes about 8 cups of sauce
- 6 cups basic tomato sauce
- 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Â½ teaspoon allspice
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the red wine, parsley and basil and cook for 2 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until thick and slightly reduced. Serve with roast leg of lamb or braise lamb shoulder chops directly in the sauce until very tender.