Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lamb Shank Roast

Recipe No: 44
A meat shank or shin is the portion of meat around the tibia of the animal, the leg bone beneath the knee. This is a very tricky piece of meat to cook. It is covered by a thin layer of fat and fell (a thin, paper like covering). This layer makes it hard for the flavorings to penetrate the meat. Even though the shank meat is considered to be lean there is a lot of connective tissue (which is made up of a protein called collagen) that makes it very hard and tough. So the only solution is to cook it for a long time in a slow flame in a good amount of liquid which is also called ‘braising’. This type of cooking will dissolve the connective tissue and will make the meat fall off the bone and also extracts all the flavor form the bones making it tastier and heavenly. Another Challenge is to control the amount of fat. As I said earlier, even though the meat is lean there is quite a bit of fat around the meat. This will melt into the gravy while cooking. So skimming the fat after cooking is essential to keep it a bit on the healthier side and also to avoid that unpleasant ‘lambi’ taste.
Here in this preparation, I used the Pressure cooker to give that long and slow cooking effect. Whatever the cooking technique is, the taste of the end product is out of this world.
Ingredients                                                    Serves 4 adults
  • Lamb Shanks………………………..4
To grind
  • Shallots chopped………………….1/2 cup (Small Onion)
  • Ginger roughly chopped………1/4 cup
  • Garlic roughly chopped………..1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder…………………1/2 Teaspoon
  • Chilly powder………………………1 ½ Teaspoons
  • Coriander powder……………….2 Tablespoons
  • Pepper powder…………………..1/2 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala powder………..1 ½ Teaspoon
  • Yogurt………………………………….3 tablespoons
  • Lime Juice…………………………….1 Tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
To Saute
  • Oil………………………………………..4-5 Tablespoons
  • Onion sliced thin………………....2 ½ cup
  • Curry Leaves……………………….3-4 sprigs
For the final touch
  • Coconut milk…………………….1/4 cup
  • Coconut oil……………………….1 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala…………………..1/2 Teaspoon
  •  A sprig of Curry leaf
Method of Preparation
  1. Wash and pat the Lamb shanks dry and make two to three slits on each side of the Shank.
  2. Grind together all the ingredients given in the ‘to grind’ section. Take half of this paste and marinate the Shanks and keep it aside for 1 hour. Keep the rest of the paste for later use.
  3. Heat 3 Tablespoons of Oil in a good nonstick pan and fry the Shanks on all the four sides for a few minutes. Transfer this to a Pressure cooker.
  4. To the same pan add the rest of the oil and fry the Onions and Curry Leaves till it becomes light brown. Add the reserved ground paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.
  5. Add this along with 3 cups of water to the meat in the Pressure cooker, close it and cook till the meat is tender. This is what I did. After the first whistle I reduced the flame to medium and cooked it for 30 minutes. Then I raised the heat to maximum and waited for another three whistles.
  6. Once the pressure is gone, open the lid and remove the Shanks alone to a nonstick pan. The remaining liquid contains a lot of fat. So either skim the fat away or if you have time, keep this in the refrigerator/ freezer till the fat solidifies on the top.  (This will take around 2 hours) Then you can remove the fat easily. This step is very important so don’t skip.
  7. Add the rest of the liquid back onto the Lamb Shanks and cook it on a low flame till all the liquid is evaporated. It is very important at this stage to baste the shanks in the cooking liquid constantly. (As the Shanks are big, there won’t be enough liquid to cover it.) This will help the inside of the meat to season properly. This may take for 40 – 50 minutes. Cover it and let it simmer. Baste every 5- 10 minutes. Adjust the salt at this stage.
  8. Once almost dry add the coconut milk, Coconut oil, ½ teaspoon Garam Masala and some extra Curry leaves.
  9. Mix well taking care not to let the flesh fall off the bone. 
  10. Keep it covered for 30 minutes before serving.
 Notes: Lamp Shanks are available in most of the stores that sells meat. If these are not available, you can try the same recipe with regular Lamb meat with bones. Please don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly.







 Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love...

2 comments:

Priya said...

lovely blog Asha....pics r super!!.. m ur blog follower now :)

jais said...

looks perfect dear

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