Braised Lamb Shanks With Pomegranate Molasses
4 lamb shanks
3 cloves of garlic cut into slivers
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 branches of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon Braised Lamb
Brown and braise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup 2003 Bourassa Vineyards, Rapsody3 Syrah
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 onion thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves whole
1 bay leaf
Lamb shanks are generally the fore shanks as the back is sold with the whole leg of lamb. Generally you can figure one shank per person for serving; if they are large you may need less. The marinade in the Pomegranate molasses and braising in the Pomegranate juice produces a rich complex flavor with a slight tartness. Serve with fresh noodles, or rice and a simple side dish of carrots.
Pomegranate MolassesSelect a very red pomegranate with is slightly soft at the crown. The skin should be shiny and not dull. Store in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag, they will keep for about 2 weeks. To remove the seeds, slice the blossom end of the fruit off with a serrated knife. Score the rind in 4-5 places. Fill a bowl with cold water deep enough to cover the pomegranate, and soak for a few minutes. Gently break the fruit apart keeping it under water at all times and separate the seeds. Pour off the water and drain the seed and pat dry. Store in a covered container, they will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Use to garnish salads and dishes containing pomegranate.
Grind spices one at a time in a spice or coffee grinder. Mix together well. Use with in 2 weeks.
- Using a small sharp knife make an incision into 3-4 place in the shank and stuff each with a garlic sliver.
- Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper. Mix the pomegranate molasses, olive oil and any remaining garlic in a bowl and massage to coat the shanks evenly. Place in a plastic bag along with the thyme seal well. To marinate place bag in refrigerator over night. Turning to so any liquid is evenly distributed.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan with a well fitting lid over medium high heat. Brown the shanks on all sides. (Alternatively you can brown under a broiler on a sheet pan.) This will take about 5 minutes. Then remove the shanks to a bowl and keep warm.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and return to low heat. Deglaze with red wine, by pouring the red wine in the pan and using a flat bottomed wooden spatula scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom. Add the onion, bay leaf and the garlic cloves. Return to lamb shanks to the pan and sprinkle with quatre epices. Add the pomegranate juice and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork tender. About every half hour turn the shanks around in the braising so they all braise evenly.
- Remove the lamb shanks to another pot and keep warm.
- Set a strainer over and bowl and strain out the vegetables.
- Tilt the braising pan and skim the fat. Collect the juice released from the shanks and skim the fat from that as well. Taste the sauce it should be rich and have a little body. Add in the onions and the garlic. If it is too acidic you may add a little stock or a pinch of sugar.
- Place a shank on each plate and serve surrounded with a little of the sauce. Garnish with kumquats and pomegranate seeds.