Martin Stembera’s Braised Lamb Shanks With Dried Apricots


Ingredients for Martin Stembera’s Braised Lamb Shanks With Dried Apricots

¼ cup Sesame Seeds
3 tbsp Cumin Seeds
3 tbsp Coriander Seeds
4 Lamb Hind Shanks, 12-14 oz each
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 Carrots, chopped
2 ribs Celery, chopped
1 inch Fresh Ginger Root, chopped
1 large Onion, grated
1 large pinch Saffron
1 cup White Wine
1 stick Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1¼ tsp Ground Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1 cup Dried California Apricots, whole
4 cups Chicken Stock
¼ cup Dried California Apricots, chopped
1 tbsp Butter

Method for Martin Stembera’s Braised Lamb Shanks With Dried Apricots

• Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds on sheet pan for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and set aside.
• Toast cumin seeds in skillet for 4 minutes, stirring a few times.
• Grind cumin and coriander seeds with mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Set aside.
• Season shanks (trimmed of excess fat) with salt and pepper. Put olive oil in a large roasting pan over medium high heat. Brown shanks on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. Remove shanks, pour off fat and add carrots and celery. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Add fresh ginger, onion and saffron; cook until onion is translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, ground ginger, ground cloves, bay leaves and whole dried apricots. Cook for 5 minutes.
• Place shanks back in the pan and add stock. Cover the pan and cook in the oven for about 1½-2 hours or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. Remove lamb and keep it warm, covered with foil.
• Skim the fat and strain the liquid into a saucepan. Discard the solids. Reduce the braising liquid to a saucy consistency by simmering slowly. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add chopped apricots and butter.
• To serve, coat lamb with sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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