May 19th, 2009 by Amy
We’ve waxed poetic about our love for our pressure cooker in We Are Never Full’s past posts. It is one of the best pieces of kitchen equipment to have if you want that long-simmering/long braising flavor without the time to to do so. It is not used as often as it should be in the American kitchen. So if you don’t have one, before next winter, please, go buy one! We decided to bust out the PC for a twist on the traditional rogan josh (Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe as a base). This is a recession meal – but only if you have all the spices at hand. If you don’t, you’ll be spending an additional $20 on those! Lamb shanks are some of the cheapest cuts of meat – for two pounds of these beauties we paid about $6. The flavor is intense and, if cooked correctly, the meat falls right off the bone. This recipe could be made in a dutch oven and cooked for about 2 hours or you can just use little old pressure cooker to do the work for you in about 45 minutes. Lip smacking, finger lickin’ goodness.
- a big sized pressure cooker (or a dutch oven if you prefer to slow cook it)
- 2 two inch cubes ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic
- water or stock – lamb stock preferably (enough to come halfway up the shanks – 2 or 3 cups)
- veggie or olive oil
- 2 lbs worth of lamb shanks (about 2-4)
- 10 pods of cardamom
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cloves
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced or chopped (we sliced ours to give the sauce a bit of body, but chopping them will help them melt into the sauce)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 teaspoons paprika mixed with 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 hot pepper, chopped (optional)
- salt to taste
- 6 tablespoons yogurt (or more depending on how creamy you want it)
What to do:
- In a blender or food processor add garlic, ginger and some water together to create a paste. Set aside.
- In the pressure cooker, brown the meat on all sides. Remove from pan and add cardamom, bay, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon and stir for a few minutes until fragrant. Add onions (and optional hot pepper) and cook for 30 seconds to get a bit of color on them.
- Add garlic/ginger paste and stir – cook for 20 seconds or so.
- Add coriander, cumin and paprika – stir a bit. Add a ladle of stock to the pressure cooker and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom.
- Now add the browned shanks back to the pressure cooker, nestling them in as much as possible. Add stock to come up about halfway up the shanks. They do not need to be covered with liquid but there should be about 2 cups in there.
- Cover pressure cooker and cook for 40 minutes (0r if you cook in dutch oven, give it about 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a 400 degree oven).
- Open the pressure cooker when appropriate and remove the shanks – allow to sit on another plate. Check the liquid level in the pot. If it looks a bit too thin, with too much liquid and not enough body, allow it to simmer/boil down so it thickens. When it is thick enough, kill the heat and add the yogurt. Stir. Add some salt to taste. Serve with some basmati rice and enjoy!