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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
This is a to-die-for recipe for an aromatic lamb shank stew from Nigella Lawson. I can taste it as I write the ingredient list — Morocco meets Italy. Make this a day ahead and while warming the next day, make some couscous and a salad. Fabulous dinner... done!

6 Tablespoons canola oil
8 lamb shanks
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
Sprinkle of salt
1 tablespoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 dried red Chile, crumbled
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Fresh ground Black pepper
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Marsala wine
6 tablespoons red lentils
3 tablespoons chopped Pistachios to garnish

Put 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large, wide, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Brown the lamb shanks in batches and set aside. Add more oil as needed. Peel the onions and garlic and process (pulse) in food processor till you get a soft mush. Sauté in lamb browning pan, add salt and cook till tender. Stir in the turmeric, ginger, Chile, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Season with some black pepper. Now stir in the soy sauce, the Marsala, and the honey. Put the shanks back into the pan and add enough water to almost cover. Bring to the boil then cover and turn pan down to a simmer and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender and easily pulls off the bone. Add the red lentils and cook for 20 minutes more, until the lentils have softened and the juice has thickened slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning again. I would do this all a day ahead and reheat the next day. Serve on a simple couscous with some currants and a little curry in it and a light salad with apple cider vinaigrette, or something like that.