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.