North African lamb shanks.

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by moikel, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lamb shanks are a very winter thing here. I saw these at the local store,very stumpy & meaty. Rear leg & likely one of the heavier breeds. Others are longer & can be more on the chewier side.
    My spice mix is coriander,cumin,fennel,fenugreek,black pepper& rock salt.All tabs except salt ,half. 4 cloves.2 cardamom pods. Grind. Then add tab powdered ginger,garlic,paprika & dried chilli flakes,light touch of nutmeg .
    Brown shanks in EVO ,sprinkle of salt.Remove.
    Brown large chopped onions with garlic in EVO.
    Put shanks back in 2 fat tabs of spice mix, give a good stir,add chicken stock to cover, 1 cinnamon stick. Into low oven.
    I use a cast iron casserole dish with a lid,Dutch oven really.
    The spice mix is good as a rub for chicken as well.
    It's not smoked but that's why it's here in nose to tail.
    If I could find okra I would put that in .
    crazymoon likes this.
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One shank is a portion. Great cut if you cook it right.
    You didn't need a knife ,spice mix was spot on. Just had back note of chilli,very fragrant.
    Morocan tagine style might mean dried fruit put in 30 minutes before the end. Dried figs are nice with lamb,apricots with chicken. I tab of honey,squeeze of lemon,handfull of chopped cilantro if I had the inclination,turn off the flame, let it sit for ten then serve.
    foamheart and leah elisheva like this.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Moikel nice looking meal.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds delicious Mick.... good job on the shanks....
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's awesome !
  6. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Awesome Mick!....Lamb shanks pop up here and then...not frequently enough for my liking (but probably for my doctors)...I love the Moroccan Tagine theme...takes me ba ck to my French/Algerian fathers cassoulettes
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    North African flavours such a big part of French food culture now,nation wide not just the south.
    Lamb prices very strong here ATM ,decent rain in the last week has kick started things.
    I haven't bought lamb cutlet in I don't know how long. The set & forget approach is just such a great fit for shanks,they are also relatively lean.
  8. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    I concur and for one am grateful that the nth african influence is strong in French food culture. My first true tagine was made by my grand mother in Villefranche near Lyon. She was of the generation that fled Algeria after their independence. By memory it took her 3 days to make it! And it was awesome...served over simple couscous. The sweetness of the fruits contrasted with the cumin and spiceyness of the her "secret" harissa paste with the meat melody!!! Oh I''m drooling....Thanks for the walk down memory lane..

    PS...Do you have a "secret" harissa recipe?
  9. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Funny you should mention harissa.

    I used to make it by the kg back in the 90s as a sort of a favour to a providore I knew called Australia on a Plate.

    The stuff that comes in a tube is garbage.

    So yes I have a secret recipe & yes I will stick it in here.

    I will have to go back through my notes.

    I think I posted it once before for Chef JJ.

    I really like those North African fish dishes that are made with chermoula. I have done some here.

    Come to think of to I should be making preserved lemons now in season.
  10. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My recipe comes from a very well thumbed copy of Claudia Roden's Middle Eastern Food.
    250gms dried chilli,soaked in veryhot water for an hour,1 medium head of garlic, 1 tab coriander,,1 tab caraway,1 tab dried mint ,handful of fresh cilantro,1 tab of salt ,olive oil.
    Grind dry spice.
    I cut dried chilli with scissors & shake out seeds. Dried chilli varies,I don't use the little guys,just too hot. Fresh chilli gives you fermentation issues,just my opinion. Drain the chilli in a strainer
    Then it's just a matter of processing it all together.The salt stops the garlic fermenting.
    Olive oil is to bind it all together in a paste.
    Then a layer of EVO on top each time you use it.Fridge .
    I made this in big batches using these proportions,never let me down, ever.
    I have seen variations & you can back off the heat by blending in chargrilled bell pepper to give you a bail out position when you need it. I wouldn't make it that way to start ,I would use it as a sort of 2 part mix & build off a base of straight Harissa.
    Funny how food provokes memories.
    Have fun.
  11. Mick this is terrific, as per your usual! I love the shank cut the most! So great to see!!! Cheers!!!! - Leah
  12. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    M, the shanks look scrumptious ![​IMG]
  13. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Gracias Amigo...I like the coriander/caraway aspect...the harissa I've been making is pretty much just dried chillis, garlic and olive oil. Work nices in merguez but lacking in flavour otherwise. I'll give this one a shot.

    Funny story... I entered my first and only amateur chilli (american) competition last year... I used home ground elk and italian sausage as my my Harissa...I was of the understanding that a chilli should have some heat so I was liberal with the harissa. I thought it had a nice "bite"...It made the judges eyes water and word quickly spread around the crowd to try my chilli last as it would be the last one you could eat! Needless to say I didn't win
  14. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thats been my go to for 29 years .If it aint broke..

    Those spices do give it something I am sure,particularly the caraway & mint.

    Have fun with it.

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