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Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew

by . Featured in NIGELLA BITES
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Introduction

As with all stews, this is even better made in advance and reheated; for me, this only makes things easier.

As with all stews, this is even better made in advance and reheated; for me, this only makes things easier.

Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew
Photo by Francesca Yorke

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups

For the Stew

  • 8 lamb shanks
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprinkling of salt
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 dried red chilli pepper (crumbled (or 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes))
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons marsala
  • 6 tablespoons red lentils
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (or groundnut oil)

To Serve

  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios (or chopped blanched almonds)

For the Stew

  • 8 lamb shanks
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprinkling of salt
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 dried red chilli pepper (crumbled (or 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes))
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons marsala
  • ⅓ cup red lentils
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil (or groundnut oil)

To Serve

  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios (or chopped blanched almonds)

Method

  1. Put 3 tablespoons of the oil into a very large, wide, heavy-bottomed pan and warm over medium heat. Brown the lamb shanks, in batches, in the pan and then remove to a roasting tin or whatever else you've got to hand to sit them in.
  2. Peel the onions and garlic and process in a food processor or chop them finely by hand. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and fry the onion-garlic mush until soft, sprinkling salt over to stop it catching. Stir in the turmeric, ground ginger, chilli, cinnamon and nutmeg, and season with some freshly ground pepper.
  3. Stir again, adding the honey, soy sauce and Marsala.
  4. Put the shanks back in the pan, add cold water almost to cover, bring to the boil then put a lid on the pan, lower the heat and simmer very gently for 1-1½ hours or until the meat is tender.
  5. Add the red lentils and cook for about 20 minutes longer without the lid, until the lentils have softened into the sauce, and the juices have reduced and thickened slightly.
  6. Check for seasoning.
  7. Toast the nuts by heating them for a few minutes in a dry frying pan, and sprinkle onto the lamb as you serve it.
  1. Put 3 tablespoons of the oil into a very large, wide, heavy-bottomed pan and warm over medium heat. Brown the lamb shanks, in batches, in the pan and then remove to a roasting tin or whatever else you've got to hand to sit them in.
  2. Peel the onions and garlic and process in a food processor or chop them finely by hand. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and fry the onion-garlic mush until soft, sprinkling salt over to stop it catching. Stir in the turmeric, ground ginger, chilli, cinnamon and nutmeg, and season with some freshly ground pepper.
  3. Stir again, adding the honey, soy sauce and Marsala.
  4. Put the shanks back in the pan, add cold water almost to cover, bring to the boil then put a lid on the pan, lower the heat and simmer very gently for 1-1½ hours or until the meat is tender.
  5. Add the red lentils and cook for about 20 minutes longer without the lid, until the lentils have softened into the sauce, and the juices have reduced and thickened slightly.
  6. Check for seasoning.
  7. Toast the nuts by heating them for a few minutes in a dry frying pan, and sprinkle onto the lamb as you serve it.

Additional Information

For gluten free use tamari instead of soy sauce.

For gluten free use tamari instead of soy sauce.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • We lived in South Africa which has avery large Indian population. South Africans eat more lamb than Americans. Curry flavors became a favorite for us over the years. This is a very nice recipe. I also added grated carrot to the onion garlic mixture. It is very common to add carrot to sweetened curries as well. Like the previous comment I added a little more heat, only because the more we ate curries the more comfortable we were with the temperature rise. Cumin is the same spice they call Jerra. I added extra cumin as well. The soy sauce was a new addition and a very nice surprise. This recipe could have small potatoes added at the end as well as the lentils. Most South African curries add samballs as a topping. This is part of Mylasian influence , that came from the trade route around the tip of Africa. It consist of bowls of fresh coconut, sliced bananas, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, and yogurt. Some people add chutney as well. Chutney is a condiment their like Ketchup is here. Any one or all of these items can be used on top of curry.

    Posted by macbuff on 3rd November 2013
  • Hello.. Well, my hubby and a couple of his friends really enjoy this meal. Just a couple things i do to tweak it for them. They like spicy so i add a bit more chili flakes and cumin is also great in this dish. After a few hours of sitting, definitely becomes more stew like as opposed to a soup. awesome the next day. Was quite surprised my mum even liked it. Awesome with a big salad and crusty bread or buns.

    Posted by reallyreally on 13th September 2013
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