Boston Chef Rachel Klein braises these lamb shanks until the meat falls off the bone, then serves them with a rich sauce of red wine and vegetables. Aromatic rice and roasted eggplant complete this Mediterranean-inspired dish.
Portion size: 6 ounces of shank meat
Alternate cuts: Beef short ribs
4 Australian lamb shanks
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups POM pomegranate juice
2 cups diced Spanish onions
1 cup peeled and diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 large cubed globe eggplant
2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 small minced red chile pepper
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 zested lime
1 bunch washed and chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Season the shanks liberally with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy pan over MEDIUM-HIGH heat and sear the shanks until golden brown on all sides. Remove the shanks and set them aside for later. In the same pan, cook the onions, carrot and celery on MEDIUM heat until caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate and caramelize it, about 4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, then cook out the alcohol, about 3 minutes. Place the shanks, carrot, onions, celery, red wine, pomegranate juice and broth in a Crock Pot and set it to HIGH. Cover and cook for about 4 hours, or until tender. While the shanks are braising, work on the rice and eggplants.
For the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. In an even layer, spread out the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until it is golden brown.
For the rice: Bring a MEDIUM pot of water to a boil, add the rice, and cook until al dente (per package instructions). Drain and put the rice back in the pot. Put the pot back on MEDIUM heat and steam the rice gently, until a crust forms on the bottom and the rice is nice and fluffy. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, chile, lime zest and salt to taste and reserve. When the shanks are falling off the bone, carefully remove them from the braising liquid and pull the meat off the bones. Strain the braising liquid, discard the vegetables, and reduce the liquid until it is glossy. Add the lamb meat back to the liquid. Serve the lamb with the eggplant, rice, yogurt sauce and chopped cilantro.