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Saltbush lamb shanks with grains 
& bitter leaves

Saltbush lamb shanks with grains 
& bitter leaves

Serves 4

By Mike Eggert of Pinbone

Lamb

4 saltbush lamb shanks

1 bottle red wine

2 cloves garlic

3 spring onions

2 sprigs thyme

2 fresh bay leaves

1 lemon, peel only

250g butter

250ml chicken stock

Sauce

2 tbsp fat (reserved from top of the shanks)

2 tbsp flour

Spice Mix

¼ tsp peppercorns

2 tbsp wattle seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

½ tsp salt flakes

½ bunch mint leaves

Grains

100g dried spelt

100g pearl barley

100g rye grains

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 brown onion, finely diced

100g speck, diced

olive oil, for frying

100ml chicken stock

1 small red radicchio

Preheat oven to 140°C.

To prepare lamb, add all ingredients to a crock pot or deep casserole dish with a lid. Cover first with a sheet of baking paper, then tinfoil. Place the lid on top. This will stop any heat escaping, helping the meat cook at an even temperature.

Bake in the oven 4-5 hours until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. Be careful when opening the seal of the foil as all the steam and heat coming up will be very hot and can cause burns.

Let the shanks sit overnight in the liquid then skim off all the fat from the top and reserve 2 tablespoons to make the sauce.

To make the sauce, remove the shanks from the pot and reduce the stock by half.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook the fat and flour together 3-5 minutes until lightly toasted, add to the stock to thicken and stir well.

Put the shanks back in the sauce to warm up.

Toast the spices and salt in a fry pan over low heat until they become fragrant and begin to crack. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the spice mix to a powder. Finely chop and add the mint leaves in to the mix. Set aside.

Cook the grains in separate pots of boiling salted water, like you would pasta, until they are tender, strain in a colander and mix together.

Cook the garlic, onion and speck in olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat 7-10 minutes, stirring to make sure they don’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Add all the grains and chicken stock and cook a further 5-10 minutes to heat the grains.

Tear the radicchio leaves and stir through the grains.

Roll the warmed-through shanks through the reserved spice mix.

Place the grains in a bowl with the lamb shanks on top and spoon over a little extra sauce to serve.

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