I decided to make this for dinner last night for Alberto and me. It’s very tasty and full of lovely spices. I’m not sure how genuinely Turkish it is though – I’d have to make it for my friend Gokhan and ask his opinion. Still, it’s nice – that’s all that really matters. It’s from my new cookbook Spice Up Your Life and is a nice, straightforward recipe. (the only slight problem is that the ingredients list was printed in thin, pale black font on a bright red background. It made reading it very tricky.) I deviated from it slightly though as I made it in my tagine rather than a casserole dish, which involved turning up the heat a bit as the tagine sits lower down in the oven than a casserole dish would’ve. I’ll detail the differences as they occur.
1 lamb shank per person
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 peppers, one red, one green, de-seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 aubergine, cut into small chunks
½ a teaspoon of paprika
½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
200g of chickpeas
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs
200ml of lamb stock
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 160. (I ended up cooking for the first hour at 160 and the second hour at 200 as it occurred to me that the dish was too low down in the oven.)
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and cook the lamb shanks for 3-4 minutes, until browned on all sides.
Transfer to a casserole dish. (I transferred mine to my tagine.)
Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions and peppers, and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic, aubergine and spices and cook for a further minute.
Add the drained chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs and the stock. Stir well, bring to a simmer and season to taste.
Transfer to the casserole/tagine, with the lamb shanks, cover and cook for an hour. Check after 1 hour and top up the liquid if required and then cook for a further 50 minutes.
(as I say, I did the first hour on 160 and then increased the heat to 200 for the final 50 minutes. If using a casserole dish make sure that it is placed in the middle of the oven.
Serve with cous-cous.
This is a lovely, tasty recipe and the two hour cooking time ensures that the meat is really tender and flavoursome. The long cooking time also gives the fat a glutinous quality which is delicious.