• Braised Lamb Shanks With Ginger And Five Spice

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Braised Lamb Shanks With Ginger And Five Spice


Bon Appétit, February 2002


Prep: 10 minutes; Total: 4 hours (includes churning, freezing, and softening time)


Makes 6 servings.

12 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 3-inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled, thickly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
4 1/2 tbsps black bean garlic sauce*
6 tsps peanut oil
1 1/2 tsp

Cooking Instructions
Step 1 Place mushrooms in bowl. Pour boiling water over; let soak until mushrooms soften, at least 45 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain mixture, reserving 1 1/2 cups soaking liquid. Cut stems from mushrooms and discard; thinly slice caps.
Step 2 With food processor running, add ginger and garlic and finely chop. Add cilantro, black bean sauce, 2 teaspoons peanut oil, and five-spice powder. Process until paste forms, occasionally scraping down sides of work bowl. Using sharp knife, cut 5 small shallow slits into each lamb shank, spacing apart; rub generous 1 tablespoon black bean-cilantro paste into slits and all over surface of each shank. (Mushrooms and lamb shanks can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover mushrooms, soaking liquid and shanks separately and chill.)
Step 3 Preheat oven to 325F. Cut six 18-inch squares of aluminum foil; place on work surface. Place green onions and sliced mushroom caps in center of each foil square, dividing equally. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb shanks and cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Place 1 lamb shank atop green onions and mushrooms on each foil square.
Step 4 Pour reserved mushroom soaking liquid and Sherry into same skillet. Boil until liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet, about 10 minutes. Spoon 2 tablespoons reduced liquid over each lamb shank, pulling up foil around shanks to prevent liquid from spilling out. Enclose shanks completely in foil, twisting foil to seal; place on large rimmed baking sheet.
Step 5 Bake lamb shanks until very tender and meat almost falls off bones, about 2 hours. Open up foil packets; place each atop bowl of steamed rice, allowing diners to remove foil.
Step 6 * Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of supermarkets.
Step 7 ** A blend of ground anise, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger; available in the spice section of most supermarkets.