Lamb Shank in Ras-El-Hanoot
I am so sick of turkey leftovers that I’m going to gag if I think about it one more time. After the gym tonight, I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up one lamb shank from the meat department. Surprisingly, one piece came out a little under $7.50 versus the exorbitant Whole Foods price I always tsk-tsk at.
This recipe is from Janna Gur’s beautiful cookbook, The Book of New Israeli Food. She’s well known as the editor of Israel’s leading food and wine magazine, Al Hashulchan Gastronomic Monthly, so I thought the recipes would be hard to make. I was surprised at how easy to understand they were even though I’m not familiar with Jewish customs.
Ras-El-Hanoot, or “Top of the Store”, is a Moroccan spice mixture used to season meat. Apparently, every spice vendor has his own secret formula on how to make it. In this version, I’ve eliminated 1 tbsp of aniseed because I just didn’t have any, so I doubled the fennel seed measurement instead. You can certainly substitute aniseed with one star anise plus a pinch of allspice powder.
This lamb dish is one leftover I wouldn’t mind having again and again.
1 lamb shank
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
5 sprigs of parsley, chopped
1 quart chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
For Ras-El-Hanoot mixture:
2 tbsps paprika
2 tbsps fennel seeds
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1. Make Ras-El-Hanoot mixture by crushing all the ingredients together using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat some oil over medium heat. Rub salt all over the lamb. Add the lamb shank and brown on all sides. Remove from pot when done.
3. In the same pot using the remaining oil, sauté garlic until brown and onions until soft. Add carrot, celery, parsley, bay leaf, thyme and the Ras-El-Hanoot mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Return the lamb to the pot and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 1 hour. Turn over the lamb and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Uncover the pot and cook for another 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Buy your own copy of The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey from Amazon.com