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Tue, Mar. 19th, 2013, 09:43 am
lamb shanks

Got a package of lamb shanks trimmed osso buco style over the weekend, but yesterday when I actually started looking up recipes, we were short of certain ingredients called for in most of the standard versions (notably garlic) and I had to range farther afield. (At least in terms of recipe searches. I didn't feel like heading out to the store just to get garlic.)

Ended up using this recipe as a base for minor improvisation-- mostly powdered spices instead of whole; more apricots and fewer prunes (since I already had a container of chai-mulled dried apricots in the fridge); plain ginger instead of most of the candied ginger.

The flavor balance really does call for some added sweetness-- initially I just used plain ginger from the slices marinating in the jar of mirin in the fridge, but eventually tossed in some chunks of candied ginger as well. I also added a tiny bit of regular molasses, as well as some cranberry chutney and about half of a salt-preserved lime. We didn't have any chiles so this ended up being fairly mild, though I did add a generous spoonful of red pepper paste.

The result was pretty tasty, although it takes several hours of simmering for the sauce's flavor to really come together-- initially it was rather sour/sharp, but eventually almost all of the components simply dissolved into a lovely spicy-sweet thick sauce with lamb chunks and marrowy bits of bone. I think that if I make this again, it'll be in a larger batch-- there are enough leftovers for at least one more dinner, but we ate pretty lightly last night because of fairly large respective lunches.

Wed, Mar. 20th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC)

Ooo, nice! I have been enamoured of late with "Fine Cooking"'s recent article/recipe/plan for making stews-- Molly Stevens wrote an article with charts and interchangeable suggestions and it has been fantastic thus far. The lamb shanks sound like they ended up with some of the same qualities of long-term cooking with interesting flavors. Yum.