I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lamb Shanks with Tamarind and Prunes

It happened to me again!!!  I set off to do the grocery shopping with a list that included chicken to make chicken biryani - but somehow I ended up with lamb!

You see I went to the chicken shop, but then made the mistake of also checking out the butcher's window!!! I am not a great lamb lover, but these lovely little frenched lamb shanks seemed to be calling out to me!  I usually find lamb shanks a little too greasy for my liking, but these ones seemed very clean and relatively fat free!
I didn't really have a recipe in mind, but I bought them anyway.  I did seem to recall though that I had seen a recipe in the latest edition of the MasterChef Magazine, so into the supermarket to find the magazine and check out what I would need to cook these little beauties!  Of course I got caught reading the magazine by a friend, who asked me if I was too cheap to buy the magazine - "Of course not I replied!!!  I already have it at home - I just wasn't sure what I needed"  (I don't think she was convinced though!!)

The recipe I was thinking of was one of Marion Grasby's and it looked really good (of course taken in by the picture again!!!)   It was a nice combination of cinnamon, ginger, garlic and prunes, but with the interesting addition of tamarind.  

Oh if only you could have smelled my house that day - the aromas that were wafting from the kitchen were divine!!  

There really is nothing better on a cold winter's night than coming into a house that has lovely enticing aromas, and then sitting down to eat a gorgeous hot warming meal!

Lamb Shanks with Tamarind and Prunes
Adapted from recipe by Marion Grasby, printed in MasterChef Magazine - August Edition

Serves 3-4

5 x 300g frenched lamb shanks
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup olive oil
50g butter
3 onions, halved, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 cinnamon quill
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup tamarind puree *
255g pitted prunes
50g flaked almonds
1/4 cup coriander leaves

Garlic Paris Mash and steamed green beans to serve

* I used 1 tbs tamarind concentrate.  Use according to your taste.

Place the lamb shanks in a large ziploc bag.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with the flour and toss to coat.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over medium-high heat.  Shake the excess flour from the shanks.  Cook, turning for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides.  Transfer to a tray.  Drain all but 2 tbs oil from the pan.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Return the casserole to medium heat.  Add the butter and the onions.  Cook stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until aromatic.  Add the cinnamon, stir for a minute or so, or until fragrant.

Add the stock, tamarind and prunes.

Return the lamb to the casserole dish, ensuring that they are all submerged in liquid.  Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven.  Bake for 2 1/2 hours or until the lamb is almost falling off the bone.

Serve garnished with flaked almonds and coriander leaves and Garlic Paris Mash and steamed green beans on the side.

As I said before I am not a big lamb fan, but this dish was delicious!  Lovely warm fragrant flavours, and oh so perfect on a cold night.  I will definitely be making this one again!!

So now I have to question myself - am I better off heading to the shops with a list in hand, or should I be more laid back in my approach, and just buy something that beckons me on the day?

What is your approach Dear Reader - are you organise, or do you just "wing it?"


  1. I love lamb shanks but not sure that I can get tamarind here! I also go to the shops with a list and usually come back with something different!!! Have a good weekend. Take care. Diane

  2. 2 lamb dishes in a row and both of them look delicious!


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