Date & Pumpkin Lamb Shanks with Barley Sesame Salad. When you are cold and hungry, this hearty dish will warm and fortify your soul.
Date & Pumpkin Lamb Shanks with Barley Sesame Salad
2 tbsp olive oil
8 (2.kg) French-trimmed lamb shanks
500g pearl (pickling) onions, peeled
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp Moroccan spice mix
⅓ cup tomato paste
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock
¼ cup sherry wine vinegar
1 cup pitted dates, halved
500g butternut pumpkin, cut into 4cm to 5cm chunks
Natural yoghurt, to serve
Barley Sesame Salad
1 ½ cups pearl barley
1 tsp fennel seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ cup toasted pistachios, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup mint leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Preheat oven to 160˚C (fan-forced). Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heat-proof ceramic pot over a medium heat. Sear lamb shanks in 2 batches on both sides, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining oil and onion to pot. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Add garlic and spice mix. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in paste. Add stock, vinegar and dates. Return lamb to pot. Return to the boil. Cover with a lid. Cook in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Add pumpkin. Return to oven. Cover with a lid and cook for a further 1 hour or until lamb and pumpkin are tender.
To make barley sesame salad, rinse barley and drain. Bring barley, 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon sea salt to the boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed and barley is tender.
Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Add fennel, sesame and cumin seeds, and pistachio. Toast until fragrant. Add to barley with lemon juice and mint, just before serving. Toss until well combined.
Serve lamb shanks with warm barley sesame salad and yoghurt. Garnish with extra mint and pistachio.