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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spicy Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

Time Warp: This post also takes us back to the distant past of Saturday a week or so ago. It seems like such a memory now...

What better winter food than Lamb Knuckles? What better meal for a Slow-Cooker than Lamb Knuckles? How fortuitous that today it was rainy and cold and awful while on the crock-pot the lamb shanks were slowly cooking down to succulence.

How perfect that when they were pulled from the pot to the plate, meat and bone alike were falling apart, and it took extra utensils to lift them out. What a glorious smell filled the house, as roast veges and delectable lamb was dished onto plates.

How oddly disquieting that despite the prospect of dinner being dished, Isaac wouldn't stop crying. How very frustrating that right as we sit down to eat, with Isaac still unsettled, the phones should all start ringing despite our best efforts to ignore them.

The meat was completely falling apart. So was Isaac, it seemed, and so to was Aunty L, who had been visiting, and whose car had broken down on the way home. Things went downhill from there. Dinner went down in about 3 bites - a good night to have a melt in your mouth lamb shank for dinner, I suppose, but still a shame to rush such a beautiful meal. While I jumped in the car with my wooly hat and my headlamp to go out and see if my completely unmechanical mind could solve Aunty L's car woes in the dark and the rain, C tried to soothe the crying boy.

While there was nothing I could do about the car, I spent most of the next 2 hours keeping Aunty L's kids entertained or sleeping, as required at the time. C got Isaac sorted (you really don't want to hear the details as this is a blog about eating, but I will say that it involved raisins...), and finally I got home to spend what was left of my Saturday night on the couch, as I had originally planned.

What it all boils down to is that I have a really good reason to do Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks again, very soon!

Spicy Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

In a pestle, grind up the following:
4 Cloves of Garlic, sliced
1 Small Dried Chilli
1 t Coriander Seeds
1 t Dried Thyme Leaves
1 T Honey
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Olive Oil
1 T Flour
Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper

Score the Lamb Shanks and coat them thoroughly with the marinade. Leave to stand.
Slice a couple of carrots and a couple of potatoes into roughly 2mm thick pieces and layer these on the bottom of the crock pot. Cover these in water and sprinkle with salt. Place the Shanks on top of the veges and turn the Slow Cooker on low for about 8 hours.Peel and chop a tray of nice roasting veges and toss these in the remains of the marinade mixture, adding a little salt and pepper, some olive oil and perhaps a bit paprika or something similar to liven them up (it was a week ago now, and I forget exactly what I did). When the meat has 1 1/2 hours to go, place the veges on a low rack in the oven at 190C, turning every half hour. We probably had a dash of colour in the form of brocolli, beans and carrots too, but peas would be nice as well.

When the 8 hours is up, extract the knuckles from the crockpot with care and dish up with the roast veges and greens drizzled with a bit of butter.
Try to take more than 3 minutes to eat them. They're worth savouring, even though you'll find that there's no chewing involved. Mmmmmm...


Giffy said...

Lamb shanks is one of those things I will order at restaurants because I never dare cook it at home... I'm feeling daring now! Must remember this for next year!

lbs said...

Yum yum yum!! This is so yummy. Ok, admittedly I used rosemary instead of thyme, and didn't use corriander or chilli, so it wasnt' really the same recipe at all, but boy was it yummy. NZ lamb is NOT cheap over here, but it was worth it. And fall-off-the-bones it was.