Deep winter is setting in and the snow keeps falling. This leads to a direct increase in the amount of comfort food I would like to consume. Primarily, lamb shanks. I tried out the lamb shanks with a lemon twist a couple of weeks ago, and this time wanted to experiment with a different flavor theme, so when I stumbled upon this recipe for Braised Lamb Shanks with Masala Raan at Leite’s Culinaria, I bookmarked it immediately.
To me, the slow cooked, spice-infused methods of Indian cooking pair perfectly with lamb. This recipe, originally from The New American Chef cookbook, pairs a ginger-garlic and garam masala yogurt marinade with the shanks, and then slow cooks the lamb with spices, tomatoes and dark rum until it is fall of the bone tender. The wonderful spices really sunk into the lamb for an amazing flavor. I would definitely recommend the recipe for a new twist on shanks.
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 small onions, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

In a food processor, combine garlic, ginger, yogurt and garam masala. Pierce a few holes in the shanks with the tip of a knife. Rub this marinade into the lamb shanks.

In a dutch oven, heat oil. Add onions, and cook until golden brown (you really need to wait for the color to develop here. This could take up to 15 minutes). Brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Add tomatoes and spices, cover and cook for about an hour. Be sure to turn the shanks every once in a while to ensure that the entire shank is absorbing the flavors.

Add the rum and chicken stock and cook for about another hour, or until the meat is very tender. Serve, topped with cilantro. I kept the lamb on the bone, but you could certainly remove and shred the meat and serve in the remaining sauce.