Lamb Confit with Chimi and Poached Onions

Lamb Confit with Chimi and Poached Onions

Paired with 2020 Descendants Liégeois Dupont Syrah

Recipe by Chef Aislinn McManigal-Quintana

(Feeds 4-5)


This is my take on the delicious chimichurris we ate in Buenos Aires. They were often made with only dried spices and paired so beautifully with red meat. For best results make one or two days ahead. The flavors from the spices will bloom and become more complex.

  • 1 T fennel seeds

  • 1 T coriander

  • 1 T cumin

  • 1 t black peppercorn

  • 1 t pink peppercorn

  • 2 T dried lovage (substitute oregano if it is not available)

  • 1 T chili powder

  • 1 t smoked paprika

  • ½ c olive oil

  • 2 T lemon juice

Place the fennel, coriander, cumin, and peppercorns in a small pan. Place over medium heat and toast until fragrant. Be sure to constantly move the pan so they do not burn. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind fairly smooth and no large chunks are left. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Poached Onions

You can also make this recipe ahead of time and save it in the fridge for up to 7 days.

  • ½ pound cipollini or pearl onions

  • 4 cups lamb or beef stock

  • ¼ c fig balsamic vinegar (substitute regular balsamic vinegar if not available)

  • ½ t salt

Pour the stock and balsamic into a small sauce pot. Over medium heat (you want a slight bubble but not boiling), reduce the liquid by ¼. Add your onions and continue to cook for 30 minutes or until they are translucent and can be easily pierced all the way through. Refrigerate.

Lamb Confit

  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder or leg

  • 3 c duck fat, warmed

  • 3 T salt

  • 2 T canola oil

  • ½ onion, cut in quarters

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 2 bay leaves

Cover your lamb shoulder generously with the salt and let rest in the fridge overnight, around 12 hours. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Rinse the excess salt off with cold water, and pat dry. Transfer to a roasting pan. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf around the lamb. Pour the duck fat over the meat. Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the oven for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and check the tenderness. Meat should easily pull away with tongs or a fork. If it is still at all tough, return it to the oven for another 30 minutes to an hour.

Pull the meat out of the fat and place it on another pan to cool slightly. Cut into your desired serving size.

*You can reuse this duck fat. Strain the ingredients and refrigerate or freeze them for your next recipe. If you notice any liquid left from the lamb, let the duck fat cool in the fridge and then remove the fat off the top once it has separated.

To plate: Place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. There should be enough duck fat left on the outside of the meat, but if it looks dry add a little oil or duck fat to the pan. Sear the lamb portions until they are browned and crispy on all sides. Place lamb and onions on the plate and drizzle with a little of the onion jus and the chimichurri.

If you want a starch with this meal I recommend some creamy mashed potatoes.