My love for lamb does not end here. I love finding recipes that are mouthwatering and especially for lamb. I find lamb more palatable than many other types of meat. It is full of flavor and with added exotic spices the flavors are phenomenal.
I cannot recall how many times I have made Braised Curried Lamb Shanks. The original recipe is from Ming Tsai “a new style of chef creating cutting-edge American cuisine. His original yet accessible recipes are based on superb pairings of basic flavors from Western and Eastern traditions.”
Mr. Tsai has awakened the flavors of this precious meat by taking it up a notch, as Emeril Lagasse, another famous chef, would say. When looking at a recipe such as this one, it is very easy to get intimidated by the list of ingredients. For example, Madras curry powder, where would one find this type of curry if you don’t live in an area where the supermarkets carry a variety of products from all over the world? For one reason or another, if a recipe is interesting enough and I want to enjoy it the way it must be enjoyed, I don’t have a problem going on an adventurous trip to find the ingredients I need, hence Madras curry powder. Another ingredient from the list, Thai Bird chiles, may not be available in your local supermarket, and this is where substitution is the best idea. Not to discourage anyone when reading the list of ingredients. The list of ingredients is long and believe me they must be added for the dish to be perfect. Even the bananas! Yes, bananas. Don’t omit this ingredient because the sweetness of the bananas and the spices make a perfect match.
Enjoy another of my favorite way to cook lamb!
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- 6 lamb shanks about 1 pound each,
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour original recipe calls for 3 cups
- 1/2 cup Madras curry powder
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 large onions cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 celery stalks cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 1 cup dark soy sauce
- 2 bananas
- 4 Thai bird chiles
- 3 springs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
- Season the shanks well with salt and pepper. Grind the fennel and coriander seeds coarsely in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder and combine in a large baking dish with the flour, curry powder and chile powder. Add the shanks and dredge well in the mixture.
- Heat a heavy Dutch oven just large enough to accommodate the shanks over high heat, add 2 tablespoon of the oil, and swirl to coat. When the oil shimmers, add the shanks in batches and brown on all sides, 8 minutes. Remove the shanks, wipe out the Dutch oven, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger, and garlic and sauté, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the wine, turn down the heat, and simmer to reduce it by half, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, bananas, chiles and thyme. Return the shanks to the pot, add water to cover, and correct the seasonings; the liquid should have good saltiness. Cover and braise until the meat falls from the bones, 3 to 4 hours. Remove the shanks and reduce the liquid over medium heat until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme springs, if used, and with a hand or standard blender, puree the sauce. Correct the seasonings add the shanks to the sauce and keep warm.
- Serve Braised Curried Lamb Shanks with couscous, rice, polenta or even pasta.