My Kitchen, My World…Cooking Egypt~

9 04 2011

Cooking with the ladies at My Kitchen, My World this month takes us to exotic Egypt…  I think of Egypt and in my mind’s eye I see Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in all her glory…  I think of lotus blossoms and dates…  As for food…I had to do some research!  I love foodie research!

There are a lot of interesting flavor combinations in Middle Eastern cooking.  A lot of things run a bit on the sweetish side.  There seems to be a lot of lamb (maybe goat as well) in their diet as meat proteins.  That makes sense.  Goats and sheep provide both meat and fiber, and are more easily grazed due to their smaller size.

This dish is an Egyptian recipe for braised lamb shanks.  I found the recipe while I was dancing across the world via my computer!  What a world we live in today!!  You start by browning off the lamb shanks, then add the vegetables and seasonings and pop it into the oven for a couple of hours.  This was a great choice for Chorus night!  It cooked while we were rehearsing.  What a deal!

When I took the pan from the oven and tasted the final sauce, I decided it needed just one more layer of texture and flavor… I toasted some pistachios and chopped them fairly fine to garnish the top of our plates.  They have a slightly sweet nutty taste and they added a really nice little touch.

BRAISED LAMB SHANKS
Majestic flavor from an inexpensive cut of meat

INGREDIENTS:
* 4 lamb shanks
* 2 Tblsp. Olive oil
* 2 onions [chopped]
* 1/4 cup Armenian or Italian parsley [chopped]
* 1 green bell pepper [chopped] *I used red, as I didn’t have a green one
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 15 0z. can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
* 1 teaspoon of fresh basil leaves [chopped]
* 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves [chopped]
* 1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary leaves
* 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
* Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION:
* In a heavy skillet, brown off the lamb shanks in the olive oil. (Can also be placed on a grill and browned off)
Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the shanks. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours
or until tender. Baste with the sauce 2 or 3 times during cooking. (Can be cooked on top of the stove in
a covered skillet or chicken fryer at a med-low setting and served when the meat begins to fall off the bone.
About 2 hours. Add white wine or water if necessary *PLAN on it being necessary! )

Tasting Notes~
This dish was declared a keeper for us!  We enjoy lamb, and are fond of braised lamb shanks.  I’ve cooked a variety of cuisine interpretations of this dish.  There’s a particular Mexican lamb dish that we love, and would love to have a recipe for.  This recipe comes close in flavor…it’s a bit on the sweet side.  Remember, we did add 2 Tbsp. brown sugar in there.  The Mexican dish in my mind has a slightly sweetish flavor too.  I tried serving the lamb over thin noodles…that was a disaster.  Thankfully, you can’t see that part here!  LOL!  I think grilled polenta (hush) or rice would be a better side with this.  Regardless…you do want something to help you get every drop of the sauce up.  I was sorry I made only 2 of the 4 shanks!  Incidentally…I did not reduce the sauce ingredients, only the number of lamb shanks.  I would fix this again, and love every bite!

Thank you to our hostess, Andrea, for coming up with such a great location!!  Next month…we’ll be visiting…

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2 responses

5 06 2011
Andrea at Nummy Kitchen

Glennis, these look delicious, and I don’t even eat lamb! I love how you added the pistachios, what a perfect finish. Thanks for cooking along with MKMW, I wanted to share than I finally got to Egpyt round-up posted, sorry it is late!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

9 04 2011
Kayte

I want to make this!!! This looks wonderful. Good for you for getting this done so early in the month, I have to follow your lead and get it done soon! I love love love that photo of the pistachios…that is so pretty and they look like art!

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