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Persian lamb shanks with garlic and eggplant, Chef Michael Mir of bha! bha! bistro, Naples Florida

This is the amazing lamb shank recipe that I coerced from the Owner/Chef Michael Mir of bha! bha! and finally have in my hot little hands.  I know it has been a while since I made this (and only the one time) so I am not clear on how long it took me but I have exaggerated it to two days.  By next year it would have been up to three days.  I know I never got the sour grapes and just did without but this time I am going to find some and no, this is not the Easter Sunday menu.  I am either making a roasted turkey roulade or ordering something already made…grin.

Persian lamb shank with garlic and eggplant

from Chef Micheal Mir 

 bha! bha! bistro  Naples ,Florida

Dinner for six

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium lamb shanks, trimmed
  • 2-3 large eggplants
  • 3 large ripe (not too soft) tomatoes (cut into wedges)
  • 12-16 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large Spanish onions (thinly sliced)
  • salt, pepper, turmeric and curry powder
  • 1 cup of tomato paste
  • sour grapes in brine(can be purchased in Persian stores – called GHOUREH)
  • olive oil
  • vegetable oil. 
  • Place the trimmed and washed shanks in a large stock pot filled with water until all are comfortably submerged.  Place two thinly sliced onions together with 1 tbsp. turmeric, 1 tb black pepper, 1 tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes and then continue cooking on medium heat for 1 hour or until the shanks are fork tender.  Although the liquid has been reduced, there should still be plenty for the shanks not to be exposed to the air. Set aside and keep the lid on.

Peel the eggplants and slice lengthwise into 6 slices each and lightly salt the eggplant. In a deep dish ( a wok is good) bring 2 cups of vegetable oil to smoky hot.  Pat the eggplant dry, and carefully submerge in the hot oil.  Turn them over once.  Keep the heat high (eggplants will not be greasy this way). When the eggplant is a dark golden brown, take them out one by one and set on a rack (or a colander) to drip their oil.

In a separate deep dish, sauté pan, start sauteing 1  thinly sliced onion in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the desired amount of garlic cloves.  When translucent, place the lamb shanks one by on into the oil with onions and garlic. Add the tomato wedges and the 1/3 cup of tomato paste. Try to turn everything over at least once. Add 1/2 tbs. curry powder. Add remaining 2/3 cup of tomato paste. Try to saute the paste as well.  Add 1 cup of lamb stock (that you have from the original pot – first skim any fat).  To this you can add 1/2 cup of chicken stock or plain water. Do not allow the tomatoes become too soft or mushy. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of sour grapes along with the juice.  Bring to a quick boil and reduce the temperature, Simmer for 15 minutes.

To serve:

It looks glorious in individual rustic clay pots or tajeens. Place one lamb shank, 2 or 3 slices of eggplant, and add sauce with tomato wedges and garlic cloves and make sure that some sour grapes also find their way in. Place in a warm oven until served. Serve with a nice plate of saffron basmati rice or warm bread.

You can also serve it on a large (semi-deep) clay or ceramic tray or pot. Place all shanks with eggplant slices between them and pour the sauce and remaining ingredients in top, making sure that the tomato sauce is not over-served. Serve with a large tray of steaming saffron basmati rice.

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A new kitchen and finally(!) lamb shanks from Bha! Bha!

Bon Appetit photo

It was almost two years ago that we finished a renovation and despite having a great general contractor and a wonderful architect,  I am only able to write about it now. I manged to talk about it plenty and to those who had to listen to it – many thanks for your patience. Home Renovation is a vortex (like the wedding vortex) and you are helpless to resist the pull of the minutiae. Really, backsplashes, countertops, fixtures, drawer pulls, hooks – I obsessed over hooks that I barely notice today – but that is past me now and I am ready to obsess over something else.  Maybe food, that’s always a good choice.  I finally got another copy of the most gorgeous lamb shank recipe ever.  It is from the restaurant Bha! Bha!  http://www.bhabhapersianbistro.com/  in Naples Florida and it is amazingly delicious and it took me two days to make it last time. I found the recipe in Bon Appetit magazine (years ago) and my family loves it.  I lost my copy of the recipe and tried unsuccessfully to find it on Epicurious and I just cajoled it out the owner/chef this weekend. I had promised (sorry, honey) to make this when the kitchen was completed.  Recipe finally in hand, I will make it next weekend and post the results and recipe.

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