Saturday, January 15, 2011

Braised Lamb Shanks with Root Veggies and a Concussion in my Sleep!

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Braised Lamb Shank

Lately I have been admiring the spontaneity and unpredictability of Life.  Whether on a worldly level or my own microcosm, I'm fascinated how quickly something can turn.  And this feeling accentuates a million times with children.  It's not a bad feeling,  it just is. A sense of the unknown around the corner, it keeps me entertained to say the least.  Early this week, I was easing my son back to sleep from what seemed to be a nightmare and fell back asleep next to him.  A short while later, I was shaken up by a burning sensation following a bang on the edge of the frontal bone over my eye.  My son moaned briefly as if annoyed by my head being in his way and went back to sleep, while I sat up holding my head, waiting for the ringing to stop!  (I think my brain actually was relocated).  A couple of days later and a continuous mind-numbing headache later (not to mention the lack of focus and absentmindedness, oh and the brain fluid), I find out that I am experiencing a mild concussion with all its symptoms. I hear you laughing..  It's hilarious, a concussion while I slept! Seriously?!

Cilantro
Braised Shank with winter veggies

With pain subsiding slowly, I feel the need for comfort.  Braised shanks with lots of veggies and dipping sauce are my comfort food.  I just love this meal.  So wholesome,  not to mention very easy too.  I like to keep it manly leaving the bones in.  It also works with many root vegetables: celery root, potatoes, parsnips, etc.  Get creative and customize as you like, you can't mess this one up, it's good.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Root Veggies 
4 lamb shanks 
5-6 large tomatoes or a 28oz. can tomatoes, diced 
2 cups tasty red wine (one that you enjoy drinking) 
4 parsley root, chopped into large chunks 
5-6 carrots, chopped into large chunks 
1 large onion, quartered 
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted  
1/8 cup olive oil 
2 bay leaves, fresh or dry 
2 small cinnamon sticks or 1 long one, broken 
5 garlic cloves, smashed 
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses 
2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tsp ginger powder 
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (to finish) 
2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste at the end) 
2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground  

Rub the lamb shanks with the ginger and turmeric and a generous amount of salt and pepper (excluding the amount in the recipe).  In a dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot, heat the olive oil, then add the shanks and sauté them until brown on all sides.  To it, add the onion, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, olives, pomegranate molasses and garlic.  Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add tomatoes and wine. Cover and place in a 375˚F oven for 45 minutes to an hour or let simmer gently on stove top.  Carefully uncover and add carrots and parsley root (or any other winter root veggies).  Braise for another 45 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender. The lamb meat will be very tender and fall off the bone and the sauce will be thick and full of deliciousness.  Remove and serve hot with brown basmati rice, quinoa or just a good crusty bread to dip into the chunky sauce. Enjoy!






4 comments:

  1. OUCH! Hope you're feeling better and you're more careful in your sleep! ;)

    Lamb shanks are becoming my favourite cut of the animal and your ingredients take the senses on a vacation to say...Morocco!

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  2. Yikes, sounds like it hurts. Dangerous task of sleeping :) Hope you feel better soon. Thanks for the recipe, I love it.

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  3. This is your comfort food! Wow, Anita, even your comfort food is divine.

    My comfort food is a potato sandwich, or, better yet, boiled eggs and potatoes mashed together with a sprinkle of salt and olive oil and olives on the side, eaten with hot arabic bread.

    salamtik.

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  4. We made the lamb shanks almost the same day:) It is one of my favorite comfort foods, too. My father is visiting from Serbia, and requests them frequently. It makes me feel so good to satisfy him, as he is a well-known gourmande who knows his lamb:)

    I love all the ingredients of your recipe, and even though the method is pretty much the same, I bet that the combination of spices would add a completely different taste to the lamb. Next time (soon!) I'try your version.
    BTW, I am glad you are feeling better, but experiencing a concussion while asleep is really weird.

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