Whatever was wrong with me? I used to hate chickpeas. Hate. With passion.
Now, I love. With passion.
And I know why. This year we have come across an exceptional hummus recipe [http://www.cookingbythebook.com/recipes/red-pepper-hummus-smoked-paprika/] and now this sumptuous dinner treat from Curtis Stone. In a word, this recipe is magnificent. And just the sort of dish you’ll be delighted to offer on a fall Sunday. Here lamb shanks are braised with vegetables, sending aromas cascading throughout the kitchen and beyond. You can start this recipe just before kickoff — yes, pro football is back, go Jets! — then enjoy the wonderful flavors as the game ends. Cooking here is long and slow, and is the ultimate proof that “fast” food cannot compare with “real” food.
The chickpeas here are cooked in a liquid enriched from the fat cooked off the lamb shanks plus the sweetness of carrots and the impact of cumin, curry powder, pepper flakes, thyme, bay, lemon zest and vinegar. Those chickpeas are not “pasty” any more.
The list of ingredients here is longish. And you are welcome to add/subtract at will. But I will say that Suzen and I both rolled our eyes at the first bite here. Typically of recipes from Curtis Stone, this lamb dish is “balanced.” You’ll have some heat in your mouth, an obvious dash of curry flavor, but all these ingredients and flavors combine and ascend into a magical dish.
This truly is one of those dishes that, after that first bite, you will always remember. Uncork the best red wine you have. These lamb shanks deserve the complement. You deserve the treat.
Whether or not your team wins.
Curried Lamb Shanks with Carrots, Chickpeas and Potatoes
Yield: 4 rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 ½ hours
- 4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), rinsed and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Four 3-inch-long strips of lemon zest, removed from a large lemon with a vegetable peeler
- 4 large sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth, or as needed
- 3 small Yukon Gold potatoes (about 14 ounces total), scrubbed and cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 5 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- One 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
- ⅓ cup very coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- Warm naan, for serving
- Plain low-fat or whole milk yogurt, for serving
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the lamb shanks and cook, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the onions and leeks to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, thyme, and bay leaf and stir for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the vinegar and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for about 3 minutes, or until reduced by half.
Return the lamb shanks and their juices to the Dutch oven. Add enough broth to nearly cover the shanks, bring to a simmer, and cover. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for about 2 hours, or until the meat is just tender.
Return the Dutch oven to medium-low heat on the stovetop. Add the potatoes and carrots and season lightly with salt. Cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are nearly tender and the liquid has reduced slightly. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, carefully transfer the lamb shanks to a plate (try to keep them intact) and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf.
6 Stir the chickpeas into the braising liquid and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Stir in the scallions and half of the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the lamb shanks and their juices to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes to reheat the shanks.
Divide the lamb shanks and braising mixture among four wide shallow bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro. Serve hot, with naan and yogurt on the side.
Source: Curtis Stone’s What’s For Dinner
Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for1/30th second at ISO‑3200
Photo Information [bottom]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for1/100th second at ISO‑2000
Cauliflower is becoming one of our favorite veggies. The trick has been to extend the basic flavor. Usually, you’ve had steamed cauliflower and, I think, at best that result could be described as distinctive, but not something you’d crave every day. Well, if you change technique and add some accenting flavor, wonders can occur.
Instead of steaming, try roasting. Roasting the cauliflower until it caramelizes turns starch into sugar. Starch versus sugar? Easy choice. Add in a hint of curry and you have this wonderful side dish.
And, there’s a side benefit to this side dish. The leftover cauliflower can be converted into a delicious dip — more on that later this week.
Curry Roasted Cauliflower
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 medium head cauliflower [2 pounds] cut into 1 ½-inch florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a jelly-roll pan, toss the cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Roast until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting.
In a small cup, combine the cilantro, garlic, and curry powder. Sprinkle over the cauliflower and stir to mix evenly. Roast 3 minutes longer. Spoon into a serving dish.
Feel free to add more pepper or curry powder to heat up this dish. When you serve it, accompanying slices of lime or lemon can be used for one last flavor spike.
Source: The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 125th Anniversary Addition