Recipe: Persian Spice Lamb Shanks
4 1/2 - 5 pounds of Lamb Shanks 2 Tablespoons Sweet Dandelion Persian Spice Blend
Vegetable oil Juice of 2 limes, about 4 tablespoons- Zest one of the limes before juicing, reserve the zest 3 teaspoons rosewater (optional)
1 large onion, roughly chopped Zest of 1 orange, plus 1 tablespoon more for garnish A few thyme sprigs 2 fresh bay leaves 6 cups hot chicken broth or water
1 Tablespoon Honey (optional) 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, for garnish 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint or dill, for garnish
Trim excess fat from lamb shanks then rub Sweet Dandelion Persian Spice Blend into the meat. Wrap and refrigerate overnight, then bring to room temperature. You can let come to room temp cover and leave out for about an hour before cooking.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Add about 1/4 inch of oil (EVOO, grapeseed, vegetable...whatever oil you prefer) in a large heavy pot heat on medium high heat. When oil is hot, fry the shanks until nicely browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Remove the shanks and oil from the pot, leaving about 2 Tablespoons of oil in the bottom of the pot.
Add chopped onion to the oil in the pot, cook over medium/low heat until onions are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Then add thyme sprigs, bay leaves, zest from the orange and lime, and salt to taste. Last, add the shanks and broth (or water) .
Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce liquid. Turn off heat and cover pot. Transfer the covered pot to the oven and bake for about 2 hours, shanks should be tender and starting to fall away from the bone.
Remove the shanks to a deep serving bowl or oven safe dish and keep warm.
Strain the broth mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing with a spoon to get all the liquid pressed out. Discard the thyme, bay leaves, and onion mush left in the strainer.
Skim fat off the strained broth, taste to see if you need any salt. Add the honey (optional) then reheat broth and pour over the lamb shanks. Sprinkle the parsley, mint and reserved orange zest over the top of the shanks. Gently pull the meat from the bones into large chunks and place in soup bowls. Pour some of the warm broth over the tops and serve with a side of any of these: sauteed spinach, broccoli, steamed rice, carrots, and possibly artisan bread.