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Lamb Shank Balti

The only thing missing from this dish was a crowd to share it with, but we’ll keep it in our back pockets for when that can happen again. If, like us, you make for a small dinner party, you can pull the leftover meat off the bone and stir it into the sauce. This allows you to have some tomorrow, or stash some in the freezer for another day. Serve with rice and your choice of naan bread, Indian chutneys or pickles and yoghurt or raita.

You need to marinate the meat the night before – literally 3 minutes work! And if you marinate in an oven tray, which we recommend, then take out of the fridge an hour before cooking to come up to room temperature.

Wine Suggestion: A rich and warm, spiced dish like this needs a similar kind of wine. A red from a warmer climate is our choice and tonight it was the Finca Bacara Pirapu; a Monastrell-Syrah blend from Jumilla in Spain. Juicy, and with a warm, earthy spice of it’s own. The high levels of juicy, soft tannins help with the rich meat. We’ll get this wine again for when we are entertaining properly and cooking this dish as it was a delight.

Lamb shank balti – serves 5 to 6

  • 5-6 lamb shanks
  • 3-4 onions, halved and sliced
  • 100g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp balti paste (we used Patak’s)
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 4tsp brown sugar
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds
  • a handful of coriander leaves

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 2 tbsp balti paste
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp kalonji seeds (nigella or onion seeds)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

The day before, mix the ingredients together for the marinade. Put the lamb shanks in a roasting tin and rub the marinade all over them (you might want to wear disposable gloves if you want to avoid yellow hands). Cover and chill overnight.

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

Roast the lamb for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

Cover the tray with a double layer of tin foil and scrunch tightly around the edges to make sure it’s sealed. Return to the oven and cook for another 3 hours.

Remove the foil and stir the onions into the juices in the tin, then return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic, 1 tin of the tomatoes, balti paste, garam masala and sugar into a food processor of blender. Whizz until smoothish. Stir this paste into the onions and also add the second tin of tomatoes and put back in the oven for a final 30 minutes.

Serve with the pomegranate seeds and coriander scattered over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

 

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