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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Braised Spiced Lamb Shanks

This was my first time making lamb shanks and it won't be the last.  They were tender, spicy and delicious.  The recipe is from Epicurious.  

Here's what you need:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

3-4 large lamb shanks

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large white onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
10 garlic cloves, peeled
3 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 small leek
3 cups ruby Port
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 cups beef broth

6 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Start by toasting the fennel  corriander seeds and peppercorns in a pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes. You'll start to smell their aroma when they're ready.

Then grind the spices.  I bought a cheapie coffee grinder to use for this.  You can also use a mortar and pestle.  

Grind them up. 

And sprinkle 1 heaping teaspoon of the spice mix over each lamb shank, along with some salt.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven and add the lamb shanks.  

Brown them all over and then remove to a plate.

Chop the carrots, celery, onion and leek and peel the garlic cloves.

Add a little more oil to the pot and then toss in the vegetables and 2 tablespoons of the ground spice mixture.

Cook, stirring for one minute.

Then add 3 cups of ruby port.

Let the port simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes.

Then add all the stock and let it simmer and reduce for 30 minutes.

Now add these spices and the lamb shanks back into the pot.

Bring back to a boil, then cover the pot with foil and then the lid and place in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.  

Now you can skim off the fat and serve it, or cool it down and refrigerate over night like I did.  That way the flavour deepens and the fat hardens making it easier to remove.

Remove the fat from the top and then cover and heat in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until heated through.  You can see the meat starting to fall off the bones.

I served this with a rice lentil mix, placing one shank on top of the rice...

And then pour some sauce and vegetables over the top.  Be careful not to eat a clove or star anise though!

I served this with some steamed green beans and it was fantastic. 

The lamb was so tender. It was slightly spicy but so rich in flavour.  If you have a little time to spend, I highly recommend giving this a try.  

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