Curry braised lamb shanks
Try spices with lamb shanks or roasted vegetables
Lemon curry braised lamb shanks with couscous: To serve, put a scoop of couscous in a wide soup bowl and top it with a lamb shank and a generous ladle of the pan juices. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped or pureed fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon thyme leaves
1 pound skinny carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
2 small, thin-skinned lemons, very thinly sliced, seeded
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups plain, quick-cooking couscous
Chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley
Red pepper hot sauce or harissa sauce, optional
1. Pat lamb dry. Mix salt, 1/2 tablespoon curry powder and pepper in a small bowl. Generously sprinkle salt mixture all over sides of lamb. Refrigerate covered at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
2. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil in one very large (7 quart) or two smaller Dutch ovens set over medium heat. Add lamb in a single, uncrowded layer. (Work in batches, if necessary.) Cook, turning occasionally, until shanks are nicely browned on all sides, 15-20 minutes total. Transfer to a plate as they brown.
3. Stir onions and sugar into pan drippings. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until onions are richly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon curry powder, garlic, ginger and thyme. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add carrots, lemon slices and broth. Return lamb to pan; nestle into liquid as much as possible. Cover with a piece of parchment paper on the surface and then the lid. Bake, turning shanks often, until fall-apart tender, about 2 hours.
4. Remove shanks to a large serving dish. Spoon fat off pan juices; discard. Ladle 2 cups of the defatted pan juices into a medium saucepan. Spoon remaining pan juices, carrots, onions and lemons over the lamb. Tent with foil; keep warm.
5. Heat the 2 cups defatted pan juices to a simmer over medium heat; stir in couscous. Cover the pan; let stand off the heat, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
6. Serve shanks with couscous and a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Pass the hot sauce if desired.
Per serving (for 8 servings): 557 calories, 21 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 119 mg cholesterol, 50 g carbohydrates, 40 g protein, 891 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.
Roasted curried vegetables
Prep: 25 minutes