Friday, 7 November 2014

Braised Lamb Shanks with Fennel

 "Christmas is coming"

As Jamaicans we tend not to venture too much into lamb but are very comfortable with their cousin goat. Goat is a prized meat here especially the male ram goat which imparts the most unique flavor to Manish water (goat soup) and to curries. I decided to stray a bit away from tradition for this Christmas recipe and do a succulent braised lamb shank. It has fennel, shallots and herbs cooked in wine and broth, so delicious!

I have said it before that I plan the monthly recipes for this blog in advance. And last mother’s day my family went to dinner in Kingston where my cousin ordered a braised lamb shank as her meal. That’s when I got the inspiration to add lamb to my Christmas menu. I know that the braising technique yields very tender meat, but I’m not sure I was ready for the level of tenderness that I would have achieved from this lamb.

You won’t need more than two and a half hours of cooking time in the oven. After two hours my lambs were perfectly cooked and tender as you will see in the video. The tomato and wine based sauce with the fennel and ginger in the end really work well together. The only thing lacking from this recipe is some spice. I purposely left off a spicy element off this dish just in case there were any persons who don’t like spicy foods. However if you like your meat with a little kick, you can do any of the following:
  1. Season the lamb shanks with a teaspoon of cayenne pepper before browning
  2. Add the cayenne pepper or hot pepper to the sauce you reduce at the end
Spicy or not, this will make a great addition to the Christmas table.

 To season lamb
3 lamb shanks
2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon oil

For the braise
2 tablespoon oil
2 fennel bulbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped shallots
1 cup chopped celery
1 ½ cup crushed tomatoes
2 cups red wine
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Beef stock (to fill pot)

To reduce sauce 
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Allspice powder
1 tablespoon Ginger powder

Greedy Tips

  • You can save some of the browned fennel to serve on the side instead of using all to flavor the braise. If you do so, just brown them just before serving.
  • In the video I added the salt and sugar to the sauce after the lamb was already in. That was an oversight, I forgot to add them before. Be sure to add it before, it makes it much easier to stir without the lamb in the way.
  • you don't want to fill an cover the lamb with the beef stock.You only need to go up about 3/4 of the lamb.

Xoxo Greedygirl

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