Lamb shanks makes for a very filling meal – and a perfect one for a cold wintry night. It takes all day to cook in the crockpot, or two hours to cook in the oven. Either way your family will love it – especially if it is accompanied by a wonderful rice recipe ( see below).
So – here are some interesting facts about rice: the seeds of the rice plant are first milled using a rice huller to remove the chaff (the outer husks of the grain). At this point in the process, the product is called brown rice. The milling may be continued, removing the bran, i.e., the rest of the husk and the germ, thereby creating white rice. White rice, which keeps longer, lacks some important nutrients; moreover, in a limited diet which does not supplement the rice, brown rice helps to prevent the disease beriberi.
Below a picture of Rice growing in Cambodia
Either by hand or in a rice polisher, white rice may be buffed with glucose or talc powder (often called polished rice, though this term may also refer to white rice in general), parboiled, or processed into flour. White rice may also be enriched by adding nutrients, especially those lost during the milling process. While the cheapest method of enriching involves adding a powdered blend of nutrients that will easily wash off (in the United States, rice which has been so treated requires a label warning against rinsing), more sophisticated methods apply nutrients directly to the grain, coating the grain with a water-insoluble substance which is resistant to washing.
In some countries, a popular form, parboiled rice, is subjected to a steaming or parboiling process while still a brown rice grain. This causes nutrients from the outer husk, especially thiamine, to move into the grain itself. The parboil process causes a gelatinisation of the starch in the grains. The grains become less brittle, and the color of the milled grain changes from white to yellow. The rice is then dried, and can then be milled as usual or used as brown rice. Milled parboiled rice is nutritionally superior to standard milled rice. Parboiled rice has an additional benefit in that it does not stick to the pan during cooking, as happens when cooking regular white rice. This type of rice is eaten in parts of India and countries of West Africa are also accustomed to consuming parboiled rice.
Despite the hypothetical health risks of talc (such as stomach cancer),talc-coated rice remains the norm in some countries due to its attractive shiny appearance, but it has been banned in some, and is no longer widely used in others (such as the United States). Even where talc is not used, glucose, starch, or other coatings may be used to improve the appearance of the grains.
Rice on the Stove-top
- Basmati Rice – enough for 4 people ( Use the amount of liquid recommended by the rice bag or package)
- Onion – one chopped
- Garlic -one clove chopped
- Olive oil – 1 Tbsp
- Butter – 1 Tbsp
- Carrots – chopped 1/2 cup
- Chives – chopped 1/4 cup
- Chicken Stock ( enough to make up the liquid required on the package for rice for four people )
- Heat the butter and olive oil.
- Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes on low heat
- Add the onions and bring to translucent
- Add the rice and fry for a minute
- Add the carrots and fry for a few minutes
- Add the chicken stock/liquid and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer
- Cook until the rice is soft but not mushy and the liquid has evaporated ( if the rice is still in need of more cooking, add a little more liquid)
- Keep the top on the pot, but turn off the heat – serve soon!
- Just before adding the lamb to each serving, add the chives to the top of each serving.
Lamb Shanks Braised with Tomato
- 4 (12-ounce) lamb shanks
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 sprigs of fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 tsp of dried ( or fresh chopped) oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp of corn flour
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil.
- Salt and pepper the lamb.
- Add lamb to pan, and cook on each side until browned. Remove from pan.
- Add garlic to pan; sauté 15 seconds.
- Add wine; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Stir in tomatoes and add the basil and oregano and cook for 5 minutes.
- Return lamb to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.
- Turn lamb over; simmer 1 hour or until meat is done and very tender.
- Place lamb on a plate; cover loosely with foil.
- Skim fat from surface of the sauce.
- Mix one Tbsp of cornflour with 1/4 cup of the sauce until there are no lumps then blend into the sauce. Bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Return lamb to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lamb is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and serve with the rice.
Follow items 2-7 but use a Crockpot or slow cooker instead. No need to turn the lamb over. Then follow steps 9-12 – cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low or until the lamb is soft and almost falling off the bone.