Indian Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate
It was definitely a slow cooking weekend especially with our ISO situation and the typical August Melbourne weather. Yes it rained and it was cold. Thank God for central heating and being able to rug up safe and warm. Mind you a week on a tropical island or anywhere warm wouldn't go astray.
Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica
Off the Florida Keys, there's a place called Kokomo
That's where you want to go to get away from it all Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand We'll be falling in love to the rhythm of a steel drum band Down in Kokomo
Sorry just dreaming.... Back to real life and the happenings of the dinner discussions. So here is the situation at ours when ever I suggest Lamb Shanks my kids are like "NO". A very firm no. Why? Really no idea - except for maybe they have always been in a rich thick tomato style sauce. They are not a fan of anything too 'tomatoey' except of course for tomato ketchup! Saying this we do not have lamb shanks very often - I couldn't even say if lamb shanks were a yearly event.
Lamb shanks are definitely a slow cooking ingredient. It's all about the preparation when it comes to slow cooking. Preparing, braising, flavouring, putting the lid on and cooking for several hours. The trick is to have everything ready unless you have an army of sous chefs in the kitchen with you. It might sound a little intimidating, but honestly, it couldn't be easier. After all the oven does all the work for you!
I won't lie there are quite a few ingredients went into making the sauce but it tasted so much nicer than anything you will find in a jar on the supermarket shelf, plus you will feel proud as punch knowing that you made it from scratch. Now this isn't the healthiest of meals - I have tried to reduce the oil as lamb shanks release a fair bit on their own.
This recipe won't disappoint - trust me even the fusiest of eaters cleared their plates! The dinner table was quiet as everyone ate. Tender, fall off the bone Lamb Shanks braised in a luxurious indian curry style sauce served with plain steamed rice, scattered with pomegranate arils and coriander.
Indian Spiced Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate
(Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine UK)
6 lamb shanks (about 375 grams each)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
½ teaspoons ground cloves
15 green cardamom pods
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoons chilli flakes
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teasponns coriander seeds
1 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 onions, sliced
30 grams fresh ginger, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
400 gram can chopped tomatoes
1 litre beef stock
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
black pepper to taste
75 grams fresh pomegranate arils, garnish
fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish
Spray a large oven proof deep casserole with cooking spray..
Add the lamb shanks, in 2 batches, and cook over a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes until lightly coloured, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan, then add the turmeric, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and chilli flakes. Gently fry for 2-3 minutes until the fragrances of the spices are released. Add a splash of water if they begin to colour too much.
Grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, then add them to the pan with the other spices and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Add the onions and the remaining tablespoon of the oil and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, green chillies and ground coriander and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes and stock, add the sugar, then season with the salt, lemon juice and some black pepper. Add the lamb shanks, turning to coat, then cover with the lid.
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Cook covered for 3 hours or until the lamb is very tender, giving the casserole a stir halfway through.
At the end of the cooking time, skim most of the oil off the top of the casserole using a large spoon, then remove the lamb.
Turn up the heat to 200°C, remove lid and reduce the sauce for 20 - 30 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. You may want to add more salt, sugar or lemon juice. 6 Serve the lamb with the sauce and freshly cooked rice, topped with the pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander.