Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lamb Shanks with Lentils and Aubergine

The oven is broken. The thermostat is trashed, so the wretched thing will only heat up the tiniest little amount. And there's me with lamb shank to braise. Bugger.
I spent a fair amount of time rooting around for a recipe that didn't involve an oven but included the ingredients I had to hand. This dish is basically cobbled together out of the few that I found. The shanks were seared quickly, as where the aubergines, in some olive oil and then slow cooked with tomatoes, harissa and a little stock for an hour or so, with a bay leaf for good measure. I threw in some red lentils about half way through and about 5 minutes before the whole thing was ready threw in some spinach. It was garnished with flat parsley, toasted pine nuts and a tiny bit of mint.
It would have been better in the oven.
Oh yeah, what happened to lamb shanks? I mean three four years ago they were just about in every recipe book and on every menu. They've all but vanished of late. A pity, such lovely sweet, tender and delicately fatty meat.


farmgirl said...

Not bad for rooting and cobbling! Looks delish. I finally requested lamb shanks when I had the last round of lambs butchered, but I haven't actually cooked them yet. I am inspired!

cookiecrumb said...

Farmgirl, cook the shanks. Heaven on a plate. We have local organic lamb at the farmers' market -- but then, you raise your own!
MG, what makes your dish so yellow? Is there turmeric in your harissa? I actually do cook my lamb shanks on the stove, not in the oven. Have I utterly failed? :-(
(Oh darn, your photos are so nice.)

Monkey Gland said...

Farmgirl: Oh man, I wish I had my own lambs to butcher, that'll be some tasty shanks, get cooking girl!

Cookie: Hmm, I have no idea about the yellow. Maybe, the tomato and lentil combination. The only reason I say they would have been better in the oven is because I wasn't really set up for doing them on the stove. My pot's weren't big enough! I'm sure yours rule!

Ruth said...

What a fabulous photo and I'm sure tasted amazing. Looks like the oven breaking down was actually quite a good thing - necessity being the mother of invention.....

eatzycath said...

Blast the oven but what lovely slow-cooked lamb shanks - hi, just discovered you when skimming other food blogs - really like your style of writing - keep it up, I will definitely return for more :)

David Hall said...

Hi there

Just popped along by chance - and you are suffering the same problem as me! My oven is wrecked and I'm a chef and food writer, so I've got nothing to practice in! Top recipe though, I love lamb shanks. Keep in touch.