Monday, February 8, 2010

Lamb Shanks and Couscous

On Saturday I was in Boffo’s picking up some spicy Italian sausages when I spied some lovely looking lamb shanks, immediately delicious smells from slow braising came to me.  I decided to buy just the one for the two of us, but I think for a real treat one each would have been even better.  I served it with cornbread to soak up all the juices and a Mediterranean inspired couscous.  

If you like add in a second shank with the same amount of ingredients below.  There was a lot of sauce leftover that I’ll blend later this week and eat with pasta. 


1 Onion, diced
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of tomato paste
3 Bay leaves
1 Carrot, diced
1 Celery stalk, diced
1 Lamb shank
1 Cup of red wine
1 Can of tomatoes with juices
1 Tbs of rosemary, chopped
1 Tbs of Thyme, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.

Season lamb shank(s) with salt and pepper and set aside.  Heat Dutch Oven or another oven safe pot on medium high heat and add a ¼ cup of vegetable oil.  Once the oil is good and hot add the shank and let it cook until it starts to turn brown.  Make sure you're patient while doing this, as it's tempting to flip the meat too soon.  As Glen would say at Calphalon “go talk to your neighbour or pour yourself a glass of wine if you're tempted."  Brown all sides, remove from pot and set aside.  Hopefully by now you have some good brown bits that will add richness to the dish.

Add the onions, more oil (if needed) to the pan and sauté until translucent, add garlic, tomato paste and bay leaves and sauté for another minute before adding the carrots and celery, sauté for about 3 minutes.  Add the lamb, can of tomatoes, wine and herbs (you can throw in the stalks from the herbs too if you like), cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Place the pot in the oven and cook for about 2 hours or until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone .  If it’s taking longer than expected turn the heat up to 400F.  

For the couscous

1 cup of couscous
Enough hot chicken or vegetable stock (or boiling water) to cover the couscous
Extra virgin olive oil
Black olives, chopped
Parsley, chopped
Tomatoes, diced
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Shallot, diced

I didn’t note the amounts for each of the ingredients because it’s really up to you how much you want.  1 cup of couscous was a lot for two people but I love having leftovers to eat for lunch later. 

Place the couscous in a bowl and just cover with hot liquid, set aside until all liquid is absorbed.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon over the couscous, add all ingredients and fluff with a fork and serve. 

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