Shank You Very Much!
Winter has officially begun so it’s time to bring out the crockpots and slow cookers to create comfort foods which warm you up from the inside.
It’s not too chilly yet but the nights are definitely cool enough to start cooking some hearty meat-based stews and casseroles.
Lower, slower cooking times are the secret for getting the most out of traditionally inexpensive or secondary meat cuts such as lamb shanks, brisket and ribs.
This week’s Adelaide’s Finest catalogue has Aussie lamb shanks at the unbeatable price of $10.50 per kg (until June 6th 2023)
Lamb shanks are taken from the lower, more “exercised” part of the back legs. It’s a tougher cut and contains a lot of connective tissue and collagen which gives it a soft, melting texture when cooked slowly.
Shanks are usually sold bone-in and it’s the bone that delivers flavour and keeps the meat tender as it cooks.
This winter is all about stretching the shopping budget (and our meals) further so this week’s low-price lamb shanks are a great way to feed the family with an affordable, full-flavoured nutritious meal.
We’re sharing a recipe for Moroccan/North African lamb shanks which uses Adelaide’s Finest chermoula spice mix blended in house at Spicebar.
Moroccan lamb shanks
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
For the shanks
4 lamb shanks
2 tblsp plain flour
1 cup white wine
1 cup lamb stock
400 g crushed tomatoes
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 teasp honey
1 tbslp soy sauce
1 orange juice and zest
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tblsp Adelaide’s Finest chermoula spice mix
½ cup dried apricots
½ cup dried figs
For the couscous
1 packet couscous
½ cup almonds (to roast and then roughly chop)
Handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tblsp honey
Handful baby spinach
Preheat oven to 180°C
Coat shanks in flour and a pinch of salt.
Heat an ovenproof casserole dish or large fry-pan on medium heat and brown shanks all over for 5–6 minutes.
While shanks are browning, combine wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, and orange juice and zest.
Set browned shanks aside. Wipe casserole dish or pan clean with paper towels to remove any blackened flour. Add a good drizzle of oil to the dish or pan and cook onion and garlic until soft, 2–3 minutes.
Add the Adelaide’s Finest chermoula spice blend and cook for 1 minute further. Stir in liquid mixture. Return shanks to casserole dish or frypan along with figs and apricots. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 2½–3 hours until meat is tender.
Make the couscous according to the packet instructions. Fluff with a fork then fold through almonds, parsley, honey lemon and spinach. Season to taste.
Spoon couscous onto each plate and top with a lamb shank, dried fruit, and a spoonful of sauce.