New Zealand Date Night


It has been a while since we had a date night, blame busy work schedule, yard work, a puppy and a whole host of other things.  I wasn’t as nice to my husband this time.  If he wants to pick safer countries than we are eating things he doesn’t like, like sweet potatoes.  Just kidding… well not really.  He really doesn’t like sweet potatoes but the original recipe called for mashed pumpkin and well, he would prefer the sweet potatoes and I still get something new.

Now I found this recipe on a website for a New Zealand masterchef, but had to make a few changes.  First of all, I wanted to use the crockpot.  Why?  It’s easier and being short on time it would allow us to still have a date night without the craziness of eating at 9 pm just because it takes that long to make a good shank.  The second change I made was the sweet potatoes for pumpkin, and the final change is more broth because I didn’t have any beer in the house.  Needless to say it was delicious and we loved it.

New Zealand Lamb Shank and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

adapted from MasterChef Dave Mckinnon

Salt – 1 tsp

ground black pepper – 1 tbsp

dried rosemary – 2 tbsp

cumin ground – 1 tsp

Smoked paprika – 1 tbsp

Celery – 2 sticks

Carrot – 1 Large

red onion – 1 large

garlic cloves – 5 large cloves

ginger fresh – 2 tsp of crushed

fresh thyme – 1 sprig

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Bay Leaf – 1 leaf

star anise – 1 star

Lamb Shanks – 2 nice size shanks

Stock – 1/4 Cup

Lime – Wedge slice

shallot – 1 sliced

Kalamata Olives – 2 olives – stones removed

Make up a dry mix by putting the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, rosemary, ground cumin all together into a bowl

Toss the shanks into the mix and made sure to give them an even coat

Put a large pan on medium heat.

Add the olive oil to the pan

Chop up the celery, carrot, red onion , garlic cloves and add to the pan

throw in the star anise

mix in some crushed ginger

lightly season this with salt and pepper

Transfer all the vegetables into a crockpot. Add the bay leaf, and put the pan back onto the heat.  All that should remain is the oil/butter and some left over crunchy bits. This is good.  Get that pan hot again, and add a splash of olive oil if its dry or you lost some of that oil when spooning the vegetables into the bag.

Brown off the shanks this time with plenty of heat. Its important to turn them evenly to get a good brown crust.  Transfer them into the bag.

Pour the stock into the pan to deglaze.  Pick up all the bits and pieces left in the pan and let this boil for 1 min and then add to the crockpot

Chop up the shallot and add this into the crockpot

Also add a thin slice of lime and 2 olives (stone removed) and the fresh thyme.

Chop up the sweet potato into nice size pieces, Season with salt and pepper and throw in a couple extra garlic cloves.

Cook for 10-12 hours in the crock pot.   (I split it over two days, to make it more tender and because it was easier on my time schedule.  I did one day of 6 hours on low put it in the fridge, and then the second day for 5 hours on low.)

When its time to serve, remove the skins from the sweet potato and mash the sweet potato with salt, pepper, milk, and butter.  Place the lamb shanks onto the mash and spoon the gravy over the meat. Garnish with some micro greens or finely chopped fresh herbs.

I also used the juices at the bottom of the slow cooker to make a delicious gravy.



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