Photo: Levana Cooks.com
by Levana Kirschenbaum, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen
Lamb shanks are one of the most ideal cuts of the lamb: Lean, tender, low maintenance, and best of all, very well priced! And I love their rustic, unpretentious look making your homemade dish look ….. homemade. The bone in the shnaks contribute a succulent gelatinous texture. I am making this dish the Tajine way: All in one pot: see what I mean, when I say low maintenance? And the shidduch of flavors just can’t be beat: Lamb, artichokes, mushrooms! Yum! All these Sephardi stove-top preparations are delightful: Just get yourself a wide stainless steel heavy pot, and you are all set!
I am adding the rosemary not because it is indigenous to the original recipe (it’s not, and I don’t use it in this dish), but because rosemary is such a wonderful crowd pleaser with lamb.
8 lamb shanks (if you must, settle for 3 1/2 pounds cubed lean lamb stew)
2 good pinches saffron
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 sprig rosemary, optional, leaves only
Ground pepper to taste (no salt anywhere please: The lamb shanks have enough salt to season the whole dish, and then some)
2 pounds button mushrooms
2 10 ounce boxes frozen artichoke hearts, or frozen artichoke bottoms
Put the lamb shanks or cubes in a heavy pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium, cover and cook 2 hours. Add the saffron, turmeric, rosemary and mushrooms and cook another 45 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and cook another 15 minutes. Make sure you don’t bruise the artichokes. The liquid in the pot should look thick and creamy. If it is too thin, transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon, and reduce the sauce on a high flame until is reaches the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the sauce over all. Serve hot alone or with roasted potatoes.
Yield: 8 servings
Recipes: Meat, Lamb Shanks, Parve, Kosher