January 19, 2021 | The Rare Barrel
Persian Braised Lamb Shanks to pair with Arrows of Neon
A lot of us are cooking at home more nowadays. Some of us may have taken some online classes while others are experimenting along the way. We're all finding our inner chef and putting our kitchens to use! While our on-site dining situation is currently non-existent doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a delicious meal alongside a refreshing sour. Chef Charis has put together a recipe that you can make at home and enjoy with family, friends, housemates, or portion out for you to enjoy throughout the week.
Chef Charis' first recipe of 2021 is Persian Braised Lamb Shanks, a dish that is complex in flavor but pretty easy to execute at home. Don't be intimidated, it may take a few hours to make but most of that time is dedicated to braising in the oven where the lamb becomes fall-off-the-bone tender and infused with flavor. Chef Charis suggests pairing this dish with Arrows of Neon, a golden sour beer with lemon zest and lime zest. Please don't feel necessary to wait and enjoy when your meal is ready to eat. Imbibe and savor the cooking experience.
**Item available in the grocery section of our website
For the Braise:
- 4 lamb shanks, preferably from the hind leg
- 1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt + more to taste
- 1 Tbsp black pepper, ground
- neutral cooking oil
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 1” knob ginger, peeled and minced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Aleppo pepper**
- 2 tsp turmeric, ground
- 1 Tbsp coriander seed, ground
- 1 Tbsp cumin seed, ground
- 2 tsp fennel seed, ground
- 2 black limes**
- ½ cup dried apricots, quartered
- 8 cups chicken stock
To Finish the Dish:
- pomegranate glaze**
- pomegranate seeds, optional
- pistachios, toasted and chopped**
- mint leaves, torn
- curly parsley, roughly chopped
- steamed rice or couscous for serving
- Season the shanks with 1 ½ Tbsp salt and the black pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Press a paper towel to the shanks to pick up any excess moisture. Add oil to the pot to a depth of ¼ inch. Working 2 at a time, brown the shanks evenly on all sides. Remove the shanks to a tray and set them aside.
- To the same pot add onions and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions until translucent, about 8 minutes, adding a little more oil if the pot seems dry. Add the garlic, ginger, and all the spices to the pot and continue stirring until the spices are aromatic about 3 more minutes. When the spices are toasty add the chicken stock, dried apricots, and black limes and bring to a simmer. Add the shanks back to the pot and return to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil, and transfer to the oven for about 2 ½ to 3 hours or until meat is very tender and beginning to come away from the bone.
- When the lamb is cooked remove the pot from the oven and place it back on a burner. Carefully remove the shanks from the braising liquid, transfer to a tray, and cover to keep warm. Remove the black limes and discard. Skim most of the fat from the liquid and discard it. Turn the burner on to high heat and reduce the liquid by about a third, or until it reaches a desirable sauce-like consistency.
- Serve the shanks with some of the sauce over rice, couscous, or other desired grain. Drizzle with pomegranate glaze and garnish with mint, parsley, and pistachios, and pomegranate seeds.
*Make ahead and storage: To make this ahead of time follow steps 1-4. When the lamb is cooked remove the pot from the oven, remove the lid, and allow to fully cool at room temperature. Once cooled it can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to serve complete steps 5 & 6.
*Variation: This recipe would work equally well with bone-in chicken thighs and can be easily adapted by decreasing the cooking time to about 50 minutes.