Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lamb - Asian Themed

We had the first experience with the new crockpot yesterday (pictured left).  We made Lamb that was clearly asian themed.  The recipe was titled spiced lamb shanks.  Here are the Ingredients:

                          


6-8 lamb shanks - frenched
1/2 tsp. chinese five spice powder
2 tbsp. plain (all-purpose) flour
1 onion - finely diced
4 garlic cloves - crushed
17 fl. oz. (500ml) beef stock
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick

We had to take a few liberties.  When we went to whole foods and asked for lamb shanks we were told they did not sell just the shank, let alone 6-8 of them so we bought about 4 lbs. of leg meat (pictured left).  This seemed like more than the recipe called for so we used about 1.5 times everything on the list, except the onion.  We also used whole wheat flower, it did not seem to impact the recipe.

Method:

1.  Placee the chinese five spice and flour in a plastic bag.

2.  Put the lamb shanks in a couple at a time into the bag, and coat well with mixture.  We cut the lamb into about 6 large pieces, this seemed to work well.  The picture at the left shows coating the pieces of lamb.

3.  Then put the lamb shanks in the crock pot (pictured left).

4.  Combine any left over flour with all the other ingredients (except star anise and cinnamon) and pour into crock pot.  We were happy  the liquid covered all the lamb.

5.  Put the star anise and cinnamon stick in the crock pot between the shanks.

6.  Cook on low for 8 plus hours.


Our crock pot has a setting (I would assume this is standard) where it keeps the pot on warm after it is done cooking.  We were still out running errands when it finished and we decided to serve with a couple of vegetables.  We decided on mashed potatoes and spinach.  The spinach we just steamed in a pot and put a little salt on top.  The mashed potatoes we made with the following recipe (this is from memory not a book):

5 lbs potatoes - peeled
1 stick butter
1 medium container of greek yogurt PLAIN (we got vanilla once it's a disaster)
5-6 cloves of garlic - peeled
milk, salt, peper as needed

Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes and boil in a pot of water until the potatoes are soft.  They should slide off a fork easily.  Strain the water out.  Mash the potatoes.  Add butter in chunks, add all other ingredients.  Add more milk to make the mixture more creamy.  Mash and mix until everything is evenly distributed.  Kova says to make sure there is enough salt so they aren't bland.

After a quick google search for a wine pairing we learned that pinot noir was the most common choice for lamb, so we grabbed a bottle we had sitting around.  It was a De Loach 2007, which I felt was forgettable.  The lamb came out extremely tender, it did fall off the bone while in the crock pot.  The liquid served as an excellent gravy on the mashed potatoes.  We definitely recommend this recipe.  The next time we might increase the amount of spices added because we felt the lamb was a little bland.  We easily served 4 people, this amount could probably serve 6-8 adults.  This is great for dinner parties.  Our dinner party gave great reviews of the dish.  Enjoy!

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