Recipe Tip: Persian Lamb Shanks with Aubergine and Saffron Rice
Top Recipe for 4 Persons. All ingredients and tips for getting it right. This recipe is a great way to celebrate the last aubergines of the year. Slow, gentle heat makes the lamb shanks soft enough to eat with a spoon, while all its delicious juices flavour the vegetables. The saffron-scented rice is the clincher!
- 4allspice berries
- 2 tablespooncoriander seeds
- 1 stickcinnamon, about 2cm
- 2 tablespooncumin seeds
- 2lamb shanks
- 2 tablespoonbutter
- 3onions, thinly sliced
- 1thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 3tomatoes, chopped or 1 x 400g can peeled, chopped tomatoes
- 1garlic bulb, cloves peeled but left whole
- 4small aubergines, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 tablespoonbutter
- saffron threads
- 175 gbasmati rice
- 250 mlwater
- 100 mlfull-fat yoghurt
- 4 sprig(s)coriander, chopped, plus extra to serve
- 1 handfulmint leaves, chopped, plus extra to serve
Step 1In a dry pan, toast the allspice, coriander, cinnamon and cumin until they are fragrant and have taken on some colour, then grind into a powder in a mortar.
Step 2Season the lamb shanks with salt. In a heavy-based casserole large enough to comfortably hold the shanks, fry the shanks in 1 tablespoon of the butter until they are browned all over. Remove and set aside.
Step 3Melt the remaining butter in the casserole and gently fry the onion and ginger, adding the ground spices for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Step 4Add the tomatoes and use their liquid to loosen the browned bits from the base of the casserole using a wooden spoon.
Step 5Add the garlic cloves and lamb shanks to the casserole, cover with the lid and simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes.
Step 6Carefully lift out the shanks then add the aubergines to the sauce. Stir well, then return the shanks to the sauce and continue to cook over low heat, covered, for a further 45 minutes, or until the shanks are very tender and the aubergines are soft.
Step 7Meanwhile, prepare the saffron rice: rinse the rice well and drain. Heat the butter in a saucepan and fry the saffron and rice in it for 3–4 minutes, stirring.
Step 8Add the water, bring to the boil, put the lid on, turn the heat down to very low and cook gently for 15 minutes.
Step 9Mix the yoghurt with the mint and coriander.
Step 10Lift the lamb shanks out of the casserole and leave to rest in a warm place.
Step 11Cook the aubergines and sauce over high heat until thickened to the desired consistency, about 5 minutes.
Step 12Serve the shanks with the aubergine and sauce, with saffron rice and herb yoghurt, and garnish with coriander and mint.