Monday, November 23, 2009

Lamb Shanks with Tomato, Chili, and Honey

This past Saturday was pretty rainy, and since I was working Friday night and Sunday night, we decided to spend our one day together cooking up a fabulous dinner. It started with the butcher - A went in alone so I wasn't sure what we would be cooking, but he came out with some great looking lamb shanks. We had never made shanks before, so we were excited to try it, and it's kind of a perfect slow cooking ingredient.

We have this cook book called Slow Cooking that we rarely use, but it has some amazing sounding recipes in it. It's quite a large book and every recipe has a full-page colour photo, which is my favourite feature. The recipe for lamb shanks didn't sound too hard, and we decided to serve it with milanese risotto. Dessert also came from the book, but I'll do a separate post for that.

The smell throughout the apartment all afternoon while the lamb was cooking made the anticipation hard to bear. But the wait was definitely worth it because everything turned out great (except for the sauce overboiling in the oven). It was a perfect rainy Saturday meal.

Lamb Shanks with Tomato, Chili, and Honey
Adapted from Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn
Serves 3
Print recipe

3 lamb shanks
1 red pepper, cut into small chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into small chunks
1 green pepper, cut into small chunks
4 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
1 onion, diced
2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Shiraz
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red chili peppers, deseeded and finely chopped
1 (400 g) can chopped or diced tomatoes
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp flour

  1. In a bowl or large plastic ziploc bag, combine the lamb shanks, peppers, garlic, onion, and red wine. Cover and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. In a pre-heated frying pan over medium heat, add the cumin and coriander seeds. Stir while they toast for about 3 minutes. They will start to smell aromatic and jump in the pan when ready. Remove from pan. Grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.

  3. Remove the lamb shanks from the marinade.

  4. Strain the marinade through a sieve or colander, reserving the liquid.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  6. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. When hot, brown the shanks, in batches if necessary. Transfer the browned shanks to a plate.

  7. Add the vegetables reserved from the marinade and the chili peppers to the casserole dish and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the onion has softened a little.

  8. Scatter the ground spices and flour over the vegetables in the casserole dish and stir.

  9. Pour in the reserved marinade liquid, the can of tomatoes, and the honey and stir everything together. Add the lamb shanks and bring the liquid to the boil.

  10. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 hours. Gently turn the shanks after 1 hour.

  11. Transfer the shanks to a deep serving dish and keep warm. Put the casserole dish over direct heat on the stove top and bring to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes to reduce sauce. Pour the sauce over the shanks and serve. Garnish with coriander.

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