6 Lamb Shanks (prep work is a must- you will need to set aside a good hour to do this part- using sharp kitchen shears trim shanks of most fat and sinew).
2 Tbs of high heat point oil such as canola oil
S and P (Salt and Peppa)
2 onions chopped
3 large carrots large dice
3 celery ribs large dice
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp of Paprika
½ tsp S and P (Salt and Peppa)
1 tsp of Turmeric
1 Tbs of medium Curry powder (or to taste I sometimes had more)
I pinch of hot pepper flakes
3 large cloves of grated/minced garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of beef stock
1 box of orzo pasta
1 tbs margarine or butter
1 cup of salted water for orzo pasta to cook
1 McCormick Chicken bouillon cube
Preheat oven to 325 f
I spread a large piece of tinfoil over my whole counter near my stove to trim the shanks- be careful to wash every surface after handling raw meat and also wash your hands!!
After the shanks are trimmed of all fat and sinew- this has become an art form ha-ha – practice makes perfect! Time consuming part of this recipe but it is a must folks – heat up 1 Tbs of canola oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Salt and pepper your shanks. Once pot smoking hot- start browning your meat- do NOT crowd your pot- I normally only do 2 shanks at one time. Have your oven fan already on high (I have to say my smoke detector scares the crap out of me every time I cook these ha-ha- you just have to accept the fact it is going to happen even if you have your door open in minus 30 weather ha-ha!). Brown on all sides and then set aside in a dish or bowl big enough and repeat until all 6 shanks are browned.
Meanwhile as meat is browning, I usually prepare my spice mixture, put Cinnamon, S n P, Paprika, Turmeric, Curry Powder, pepper flakes in a bowl and set aside. Grate your garlic set aside.
Turn heat down to medium low as your pot will still be smokin hot – carefully (pot will sometimes splatter- wear oven mitts- I have many war wounds and I don’t think I have much hair left on my one arm ha-ha) add in Tbs oil and onion, carrot, celery and sauté for about 3 min stirring. Add in your spice mixture and garlic and if you love warm spices like I do like cinnamon and curry you will love this- the smell is amazing!! Sauté for about 3-5 minutes more (I call this part waking up your spices) stirring. Your mixture will look dark in colour and don’t worry this is how it is supposed to look – have faith my peeps! Then add in the diced tomatoes cook for 5 minutes to get them friends with the spices and other veggies- always nice to not rush new friendships! Then add in your 4 cups of beef stock and stir scraping all the good brown bits from bottom of pot- this is where the flavour is! Add back in your shanks and any juice that accumulated – it is ok if not submerged this is what you want when braising.
Now you could bring to a boil and simmer on stove but Diane taught me to put in the oven and forget about it! Low and Slow baby so the spices can get to know each other as my Mama always used to say! I cook for 3 hours 325 f oven and then after cooling I always do this - I refrigerate overnight. Then next day the fat will be hardened on top of pot – take a large spoon and discard all the fat. This always amazes me I think of our bodies as a sink drain – imagine if we ate that and that is what it would do inside our pipes? No wonder its not hard to clog an artery! I reheat in a 300 f oven until fork tender between 1-2 hours.
Meanwhile near the end of the shank cooking time , in a medium sauce pan bring your salted water and I add 1 cup of the sauce(grabbing some of the onion and veggies) from lamb pot, 1 tbs of margarine, chicken bouillon cube, with the box of orzo pasta and ¼ cup of quinoa (I sneak this super food into most of my stews or soups and my family never knows the difference – muhahaha!) bring to a boil and simmer (you may have to add more sauce or liquid depending on consistency or to taste- I like this side dish to be thick when complete).
I serve this usually in a pasta bowl or low large soup bowl as it is more like a stew. I use a 1 cup measure cup to spoon out orzo/quinoa mixture and then place one beautiful Curry Cinnamon braised lamb shank on top – it is quite impressive (a real freddy flinstone meal hee hee! 😊) – will be a big hit with your fam or for entertaining. I sometimes garnish with fresh parsley and serve with a Raynebow famous banana muffin or jalapeno corn bread- sounds strange but both work amazing- the sweet muffin/bread cuts the richness of the curry in the dish and it is a great marriage.
(Note: I want to say- lamb shanks even when cooked will look red in colour believe me they should be falling off the bone for this recipe and don’t worry are for sure cooked! This is how they are supposed to be!)
My dear friend Diane who I love with all my heart and is the inspiration for a lot of my cooking, who was also my neighbour and sailing buddy for many moons taught me this amazing recipe and it has been an absolute family favourite now for 25 years! I hope you all enjoy!! Thanks Diane- you are truly an amazing woman and thank you for all the lessons in the kitchen and out you have taught me 😊
Love Mama Lisa Marie xoxoxox