Friday, March 29, 2024

Lamb for BOTH Easter and Passover


Spring holidays are here, and to celebrate, we at Tonia's Kitchen have a dish that's equally at home at your Easter Dinner or your Passover Seder!  Judy Bart Kancigor, who wrote Cooking Jewish told Tonia she has a delicious braised lamb dish that's moist, tender and flavorful.  And the flavor comes from the brine.  She uses a coffee grinder to bring together a chicken stock brine made of cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, ginger, cloves, fennel, nutmeg, cumin, cardiman and allspice.  Judy then browns some onions in garlic and olive oil and adds it to the stock.  It's important to let the lamb rest in your refrigerator for a day, to really bring out those wonderful flavors. 
Moroccan Spicy Apricot Lamb Shanks
Source: “COOKING JEWISH: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family” by Judy Bart Kancigor

4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each), visible fat removed
Kosher (coarse) salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size onions, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1 cup dry red wine
1 3/4 cups homemade chicken stock or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
Moroccan Spice Mix (recipe follows)
1 cup dried apricots
Black pepper to taste

1. Soak the lamb shanks in water to cover in a large bowl, changing the water frequently until it runs clear. (This will take about 15 minutes in all.) Remove the lamb shanks, dry them very well with paper towels, and then season them all over with salt.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add the shanks and brown them on all sides, about 15 minutes altogether. Remove the shanks and set them aside.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot, if necessary (you will need it if you have been diligent in removing all the visible fat from the lamb), reduce the heat to medium, and cook the onions until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the wine and deglaze the pot, scraping up all the crusty brown bits. Stir in the chicken stock and the spice mixture. Return the lamb shanks to the pot.

5. Place the pot in the oven and roast, covered, turning and basting the shanks frequently, for about 1 hour.

6. Add the apricots and continue roasting, covered, until the meat is very soft, about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Transfer the shanks to a platter and keep warm. Remove as much fat as possible from the sauce, using a spoon or a fat separator. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the sauce over the lamb shanks and serve, passing any extra sauce in a sauceboat.

Serves 4 

Moroccan Spice Mix

2 thin cinnamon sticks (about 3 inches)
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or 2 slivers whole nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or seeds of 12 pods
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Combine the spices in a spice grinder or coffee mill, and grind until fine and well mixed.

© 2015 by Judy Bart Kancigor