I still don't have an oven and, not being able to cook a turkey, I was trying to think outside the box of the usual fare but I couldn't find the Cornish game hens I was looking for so I did end up with the ubiquitous whole chicken, but what the heck. It just means that I won't have to wrestle with the left overs and torture the dogs & cat by cooking turkey for 8 hours straight.
Having said that, I also found lamb shanks and put them on to cook at 3pm for the night before Thanksgiving dinner - Thanksgiving Eve - which isn't a holiday but feels like it ought to be one...I much prefer the calendar prior to Black Friday which brings the dreaded pressure of holiday shopping - ugh! Uh oh, there I go again - it's all to easy to get into the mode of finding something wrong with everything.
Sometimes I CAN be that Pollyanna person, looking for the positive, and right now the apartment is filling up with a wonderful aroma of simmering lamb with herbs, spices, red wine, and onions. Lamb Shanks are really very easy to make - although not very photogenic as they take a photograph along the lines of a drunk person in a dark bar - murky, sloppy, and suspicious looking...also there are a bazillion pictures online of lamb shanks, so I am not going to add one here. Instead, here is a picture of my friend Olga, who is a fabulous belly dancer.
(Loose) Method of preparing Lamb Tagine:
- In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the lamb shanks on all sides.
- Grind fresh pepper over (I like lemon pepper)
- Add 1/2 chopped sweet onion, 1/4 finely chopped red pepper, and saute.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp oregano, basil, thyme, cumin, hot chili peppers, cinnamon, nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Add 6 whole cloves garlic
- De-glaze with 1/2 red wine
- Add enough beef stock to cover
- 2 dried bay leaves
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup coffee (optional red-eye version)
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes ( make sure you use the tomatoes in the carton because canned tomatoes are not very healthy for you)
- 1 tbls tomato paste
Simmer covered for 3 hours. Then add:
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup olives (not the canned version!)
- 1 tbls cocoa powder unsweetened (first mix with in a cup with hot pan broth to blend without lumps)
- 6 organic carrots, scrubbed & chopped
Thanksgiving Eve Lamb Tagine.