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Curried Lamb Shanks and Pan Roasted Chickpeas with Mint

Yield: 4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • For the curried lamb shanks:
    • 4 lamb shanks
    • 2 tablespoons of butter
    • 4 onions, chopped
    • 1 head of garlic, peeled whole
    • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
    • 1 tablespoon of cardamom
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and optional
    • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
    • 1 knob of freshly grated frozen ginger
    • 1- 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
    • 1 cup of water
    • a dash of salt
    • a handful of fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
  • For the pan roasted chickpeas with mint
    • a splash of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1-19 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • ¼ cup of mint jelly
    • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup of white wine vinegar
    • 1 Tablespoon or so of Dijon mustard
    • 1 large bunch of freshly sliced mint
    • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
    • ½ cup of dried apricots, thinly sliced
    • ½ cup of pistachio nuts

Method

  1. For the curried lamb shanks:
    1. Preheat your oven to its highest setting, 550° or 500°F and turn on your convection fan and broiler if you have one.
    2. Dry the lamb shanks then lightly rub with oil before arranging evenly on a baking sheet. Position in the middle of the oven and roast until browned and seared and delicious, turning as needed. Remove and reduce the oven temp to 300°F.
    3. Meanwhile melt the butter in a large braising pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, a few minutes. Stir in the dry spices (not the fresh ginger) and continue cooking and brightening their flavours, a minute or two. Pile in the browned shanks and all the remaining ingredients, the ginger, tomatoes and water. Cover with a tight fitting lid and return the shanks to the oven to braise until tender and delicious, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Serve and share with heaps of cilantro leaves scattered on top.
  2. For the pan roasted chickpeas with mint
    1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat a splash of olive oil. Add the chickpeas and pan roast, shaking and stirring and lightly browning, for about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the mint jelly, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and mint. In a separate bowl toss the cooked chickpeas and all their little pan bits with the onion, apricots and pistachios. Marry the two mixtures in one bowl or the other, serve and share.