Saturday, April 11, 2020

Orange Spiced Lamb Shanks



Served with barbecued yams and asparagus. The yams were basted with melted soy-butter. The asparagus were tossed in olive oil and later a drizzle of lemon juice.

This recipe is based on one by Trevor Hooper who used to have a restaurant in Vancouver called Raku. It is in his book Asian tapas and Wild Sushi: A Nibbler’s Delight of Fusion Cooking - still in print. Hooper is currently the co-owner of Ravenstone Farm Artisan Meats in Qualicum. 

Hooper’s recipe was for four, and it has always worked when I doubled or tripled it for larger numbers of guests. My version here is for three lamb shanks, the usual number of people I am able to feed in this time of COVID-19. 

INGREDIENTS:
Combine the following in a pot that is neither too big nor too small.
3
Lamb Shanks
1/3c
Soy sauce (or Tamari if gluten-free is required)
1/3c
Brown sugar
1/2c
Orange juice
2
Zest of 2 oranges (I used the peel of a Satsuma “orange” since I had one on hand.)
1
Cinnamon stick
10
Star anise seeds (I tossed in a couple of smallish whole star anise)
2 tsp
Allspice
2”
Chunk of ginger cut into small hunks
5
Cloves garlic roughly crushed

Water to cover by 1”, bring to a boil, and immediately turn down to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered for 3 hours.

Barbeque. Baste with a bit of oil, enough so the lamb shanks won’t stick, and then barbeque them at a medium heat until they are heated through and the outside is caramelized. NOTE: It works well to simmer the shanks the day before. That way, dinner prep on the day that they are served is minimal. They also hold together better when they rest a bit in the fridge. The broth is fabulous. This time, I froze it and used it a week later in a soup with lots of veg, big hunks of potato, and slices of a couple of large Hungarian sausages (farmer style)

Trevor Hooper suggests serving the lamb shanks with a garlic aioli. His recipe for this is splendid, but I did a garlic-pear aoli instead (it is a bit easier and the flavours blend well).

INGREDIENTS:
3
large ripe Bartlett pears
2
tablespoons of water
1
large clove of garlic
1/4c
extra virgin olive oil
Pinch
Sea salt – to taste

To do:
·         Peel, core and roughly chop the pears. Gently simmer in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water until tender. Set aside to cool.
·         In a blender or food processor, puree the pears, their juice and garlic. As it is running; slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream. Add sea salt to taste. Refrigerate a few hours for the flavors to develop. That’s it.

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