Braised Lamb Shanks & Eggplant

Braised Lamb Shanks & Eggplant

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011

This slow-cooked lamb and eggplant stew melts in your mouth. Sumac, a lemony-flavored spice, gives the dish a fruity, tangy aroma. Look for it in Mediterranean markets or spice shops. Serve the stew over mashed root vegetables, bulgur or brown rice.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1½ pounds eggplant (see Tip), peeled
  • 4 12-ounce lamb shanks (about 3 pounds), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 5 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley, divided


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  1. Slice eggplant lengthwise into ½ -inch-wide slices, then crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces; set aside. Rub lamb shanks with 1 tablespoon sumac, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven (or other 5- to 6-quart pot) over medium-high heat. Add the lamb; cook, turning often, until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. (Don't overcrowd the pan; brown in batches if necessary.) Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot; add bell pepper, onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and the remaining 1 tablespoon sumac. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot. Stir in the eggplant, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally and turning the shanks over once about halfway through, until the lamb is very tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the lamb to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and cook the sauce until slightly reduced and thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup parsley.
  5. Combine the remaining ¼ cup parsley and the remaining garlic in a small bowl.
  6. Serve the lamb and vegetable sauce topped with the parsley-garlic mixture.
  • Tip: If you're using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. Rinse well with cold water, then dry with paper towels.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 321 calories; 14 g fat(3 g sat); 8 g fiber; 20 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 87 mcg folate; 94 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,170 IU vitamin A; 59 mg vitamin C; 75 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 812 mg sodium; 1,047 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (98% daily value), Vitamin A (63% dv), Folate (22% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1½ fat

Reviews 2

September 20, 2011
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By: yellow_apple30
Turned out Beautifully I really enjoyed this. It was my first go at cooking lamb, and I'm certain I'll make it again. This was delicious. The eggplant melted into the sauce, and the other veggies held their shape. It tasted very rich and satisfying without needing cheese or cream or anything like that. I had regular eggplant, so I did the extra salting step before cooking. I could not find sumac anywhere, even at my bulk spice store. So, I subbed chicken stock for water to up the flavor, and right before serving, I squeezed in a small lemon's worth of juice. I'd love to try this with the spice next time if I can find it.
September 14, 2011
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By: tatianal
Juicy and tender. This recipes is amazing. It takes longer than i'd want to wait but it is definetly worth the wait. The lamb comes out so tender and the vegetables compliment it in every way. I kept adding more salt after i tasted the mixture and i felt it needed more but by the time it was on my plate i realized the vegatbles were way too salty and the lamb was just perfect. I recommend salting the lamb more before adding the veggies
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