Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lambtastic!

This past Christmas I was lucky enough to recieve quite a few cookbooks and have delighted in poring over them, choosing new recipes to try out and learning new things. I didn't even realize that I had neglected one of them until Adam asked me the other day "How come you haven't made anything from the Naked Chef cookbook?". And you know, I didn't have an answer. There are tons of great, rustic recipes in that book and come on, Jamie Oliver is freaking adorable. So I busted out the book, asked Adam what he was in the mood for and we decided on his Slow Cooked Spiced Lamb Shanks recipe.

Now, finding Lamb Shanks proved to be a bit more difficult than I thought it would be so after visiting a couple supermarkets I decided to use Lamb Loin Chops instead. What I love about this recipe is not only the chance to use so many fragrant herbs but also that it makes the lamb SO tender that it falls right off the bone. It's simple, it's completely delicious and satisfying in that homemade rustic kind of way, and it will make your home smell divine.

It takes about 2 and 1/2 hours from start to finish which is rather short for a slow cooked meal. It's entirely doable for a worknight/schoolnight dinner, especially if you do your veggie chopping the night before.

Let's get to it.

Jamie Oliver's Slow Cooked Spiced Lamb Shanks (/Loin Chops)
Feeds 2 with leftovers

4 lamb shanks/lamb loin chops
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
1 small dried chile (or one tsp chile powder)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp flour
1 large carrot. chopped finely
6 ribs of celery, quartered and chopped finely
2 medium onions chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup white wine
6 anchovies
1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes, drained

Preheat your oven to 350.

Salt and pepper your lamb chops.

_

I love using sea salt, it's inexpensive and makes me feel all European when I use it.



Next, take the coriander seeds and the chile powder and grind them together. I was so excited to get to use this bad boy



But if you dont' have a mortar and pestle you can certainly buy the ground coriander and use that. I love how the fragrant awesomeness of coriander is released as you grind it , though. And it's really great for making spice rubs/pastes! So if you are in the market for a new kitchen gadget - I highly recommend getting one!

Mix the remaining herbs into the ground coriander mix and pour out onto your cutting board. Press each side of the lamb shanks into the mixture until well coated.



Sprinkle the lamp with flour and heat a large heavy bottomed pot/dutch oven over medium-high heat with the olive oil.

Add the lamb and cook until brown on all sides. It will already begin to smell fantastic.



When they are brown, remove them from the heat and keep warm.

Get all your chopped veggies together (I just threw mine in the food processor in batches and pulsed a few times) and add them to the pot with a pinch of sea salt.



Cook for about 5 minutes/until soft. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 3-5 minutes/until syrupy



Add the wine and stir. Then stir in your anchovies! YUM!



Don't be scared. They fall apart in the cooking process and just add this lovely smoky hint to the dish. I love it.

Give that a stir and add in your drained plum tomatoes, taking care not to break the up



Add the lamb back into the mix and stir gently



Bring to a boil, cover and place in oven for 90 minutes. Then take the cover off and let cook for another 30 minutes or so.

Mmmmmmmm



Isn't that lovely?

Serve over cous cous and enjoy.




This recipe is from The Naked Chef Cookbook which I LOVE. Lots of great recipes like the one above (including some really inspiring fresh pasta recipes) AND a lot of new takes on standard vegetable side dishes. If you are in need of a new cookbook for your collection, definitely check it out.

1 comment:

wheresmymind said...

I so heart my new mortar/pestle!!