Passion Project: Baked Lamb Shank with a Veggie Couscous

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Attention everyone, this is my last “meaty” recipe for a while! Lamb shanks mark the end of the first section of my passion project. I will now briefly turn to fish (and potentially shellfish) before returning to mostly vegetarian dishes. I feel like I’ve built up my protein reserves for a while over the past two months, so that shouldn’t be an issue! It’s been a really fun ride so far but I’m excited to experiment a lot with plants again. I’ve learned more about cooking techniques and animals in these past few weeks than I can wrap my head around. I’ll definitely apply a lot of this new knowledge to cooking veggies so it should be really exciting too. In the meantime, I hope you’ve been enjoying this project as much as I have!

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This recipe is also the last “time consuming” one for a while. Fish usually require much quicker cooking times than most cuts of meat do. So we should be back to 20-30 min max! When I started this blog, I intended it to feature easy and relatively quick recipes. Over my passion project, I’ve switched gears and explored more complex and hands-on time intensive recipes. Soon enough I’ll be coming back full circle to the world of plants. So for all of my vegetarian followers out there, I promise the wait is almost over 🙂

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Not before I share this wonderful final lamb recipe though! Today, we’re baking shanks for a long long time, a.k.a until the meat falls off the bone. Lamb shanks are a real treat! But they come from the bottom section of the animal’s leg, and have quite a lot of connective tissue in them. That’s why they need to be cooked for an extended period of time, which helps tenderize the meat. They are further baked in a foil packet to prevent them from drying out during the cooking process. Through this recipe, shanks slowly turn into deliciously caramelized meaty goodness. I guarantee you’ll find yourself gnawing the bone for the last bits and pieces… At least I did! I also added a bunch of veggies to the packet, which cooked with the lamb and ended up being perfectly tender. The roasted garlic really stole the show for me. I would snack on these things if it were socially acceptable… Finally I enjoyed it all with couscous for a quick and easy side grain. Lamb couscous is a pairing that never fails and proved to be as delicious as ever in this recipe. Bon appétit!

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Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver.


Total time: 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 lamb shank
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 carrot
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • a few shishito peppers
  • a rosemary sprig
  • a few thyme sprigs
  • fresh parsley (garnish)
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dried couscous
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 glass of white wine (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Season the lamb shank with salt and pepper, and rub it with olive oil all over.
  3. Cut the carrot in small pieces.
  4. Fold an arm’s length piece of aluminum foil in half, and place it on a baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves, carrots, cherry tomatoes and peppers in the center. Top with the lamb shank and the herbs. Fold the aluminum foil over, and secure it tightly around the shank’s bone, to make little packets that can sit up on the baking sheet. (Note: for extra flavor, you can add 1/2 glass of white wine to the packets at that point if you have any handy)
  5. Bake in the oven for 2.5 hrs, or until the meat falls off the bone.
  6. About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, bring the water to a boil in a kettle. Pour it over the dried grains in a bowl, and let them soak up all the water for about 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluffen it up and separate the grains once it’s ready.
  7. Serve the lamb shank over the couscous and veggies. Drizzle with some spicy oil and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

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Temps Total: 3 heures

Ingrédients

  • 1 souris d’agneau
  • 3 gousses d’ail, non pelées
  • 1 carotte
  • 4-5 tomates cerises
  • quelques poivrons shishito
  • 1 brin de romarin
  • quelques brins de thym frais
  • du persil frais (pour décorer)
  • huile d’olive
  • 1/4 tasse de couscous, sec
  • 1/4 tasse d’eau bouillante
  • sel de mer et poivre noir
  • 1/2 verre de vin blanc (optionnel)

Directions:

  1. Préchauffez le four à 180°C.
  2. Assaisonnez l’agneau avec du sel et du poivre, et enduisez le d’huile d’olive.
  3. Coupez la carotte en petites rondelles.
  4. Pliez un morceau de papier d’aluminium de la taille d’un bras en deux, et mettez le sur une plaque de cuisson. Mettez les gousses d’ail, les carottes en rondelles, les tomates et les poivrons au centre. Placez la souris d’agneau en haut de la pile, avec les herbes. Refermez le “paquet” d’aluminium autour de l’os, en serrant bien. (Note: pour encore plus de saveur ajoutez ici 1/2 verre de vin blanc dans le paquet, si vous en avez à disposition)
  5. Laissez rôtir pendant 2.5 heures, ou jusqu’à ce que la viande se sépare de l’os.
  6. Environ 5 minutes avant la fin de la cuisson, faites bouillir l’eau dans une bouilloire. Versez-la sur les grains de couscous dans un bol, ajoutez une pincée de sel, et laissez absorber le tout pendant 5 minutes. Séparez alors les grains à l’aide d’une fourchette.
  7. Servez l’agneau sur une base de couscous et de légumes (l’ail rôti est à tomber!). Ajoutez un filet d’huile pimentée et garnissez avec le persil ciselé. Bon appétit!
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