*will add photos when Flickr is accessible*
Lamb shanks are real easy to cook because you can never go wrong with it as the meats are already very flavourful. It is tough but with the right pots, it cooks within an hour.
So, during Christmas, I got myself four lamb shanks. I had done lamb shanks before but it was only two small ones whilst the one I got for Christmas were huge. Lamb shanks, by the way, is the end part of the leg of lamb which has more bones and tendons with very sinewy muscles.
The initial scare was I cannot fit my lamb shanks into my pressure cooker! I cannot afford to use the oven because I needed it for my turkey. So, with only a few hours to the Christmas dinner, I was lucky that I could use a very thick and huge stainless steel pot to stew them.
Lamb shanks take a very long time to soften if you are not using some thick steel bottom, good heat retention pots. So, don’t attempt cooking four lamb shanks at one go unless you have the right equipment. Otherwise, they will take you like four hours to get the meat to soften.
So, here’s my estimated recipe for four lamb shanks:
Four lamb shanks – remove all the visible fats you see
2 large carrots – you can leave it whole ‘cos they will mush up later anyway
4 sticks celery
2 large onions – quartered
2 bulbs garlic – remove the skin
Meat curry powder
1 teaspoon of rosemary and any type of western herbs
1 tablespoon black pepper, white pepper, salt
a thick chunk of ginger, smashed
1 small bottle of pasta sauce
1 teaspoon of fennel and coriander seeds (just throw some jintan manis, jintan putih and ketumbar if you can’t tell which is which. 😛 )
A few tablespoon of butter or ghee (horrors! But the taste is superb)
PART TWO VEGETABLES
– Lots of fresh vegetables like zucchini, mushroom, paprika, aubergine etc. Only to be added in later stage, after the lamb is cooked.
Heat the butter and fry the onion and garlic. Then, dump everything into the pot and simmer until the lamb easily detached from the bone.
Here’s the tricky part.
Take the lamb shanks out of the pot and leave aside.
Take out the huge chunks of vegetables and remove the ginger. The rest of the vegetables go into the blender or you can use a siever to mash them into thick gravy.
Take the juice/gravy and freeze it for a while. You will see a thick layer of fats on top. When the fats are hardened, remove those stuffs. It can kill you!
I know it is very tedious to separate all these etc but it is worth it. You will end up with tender meats, thick gravy that is not oily and plenty of bites in the vegetables you are adding in later.
Now, boil the gravy with the blended, mushed up vegetable which you blended. You will have a thick gravy. Add all the fresh vegetables you fancy like zucchini, mushroom, yellow paprika, just about anything. When the vege are cooked, then add the lamb shanks.
You will have a dish that everyone is going to crave for until the next time you cook again. 😛