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Spiced Lamb and Eggplant Matzoh Crepes


Moroccan Style Braised Lamb Shanks

Slighty Adapted from Food and Wine

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 meaty lamb shanks (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon harissa or other chile paste
1 cup dry red wine
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
2 whole cinnamon sticks

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large dutch oven (big enough to hold all the shanks at once) over medium-high heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Add two of the shanks to the pan dutch oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the shanks from the pan and repeat with the remaining two. Set the browned lamb shanks aside. Pour the fat from the pan and wipe it clean.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the dutch oven and cook the onions, carrots, and garlic over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until fragrant. Increase heat to medium high and stir in the tomato paste and harissa; cook for two minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook for 4-5 minutes more, until the liquid has thickened.

Pour in the chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Nestle the lamb shanks into the liquid and add the cinnamon sticks. Cover, turn off heat, and transfer to the oven. Braise for three hours, turning and basting the shanks every hour, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bones.

Remove from oven, and take the lamb shank meat out of the liquid to cool. Discard bones. Strain the liquid into a large bowl or measuring cup; cool completely and then skim the fat from the top, reserving the liquid.

When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred into small pieces.

Matzoh Crepes

1 dozen eggs
3 cups water
2 cups matzoh meal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Let the batter rest for at 30 minutes.

Heat a 12" nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Brush a small amount of oil on the pan. Holding the pan off the heat, pour enough batter in the skillet to make a thin pancake, tilting the pan in a circle to all the batter to spread. Return to heat and cook for one minute, or until golden and set around the edges. Carefully lift the edge of the crepe with a rubber spatula, grab it, and flip it over. Cook for another minute, or until lightly browned. Remove the crepe to a plate, and repeat with remaining batter. Crepes may be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for several days.

Assembling the Crepes

Remaining ingredients:
pickled eggplant (a sweet and spicy eggplant chutney that can be found at an Indian grocer, or in the ethnic section of your supermarket)
chopped fresh cilantro

Place the shredded lamb meat in a wide, deep skillet or saucepan along with the reserved pan juices and bring to a simmer. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Place one crepe on working surface and spread half with some of the pickled eggplant. Spoon some of the lamb meat over the chutney. Fold the crepe in half, and in half again, to create a triangle. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling. You will likely have some of the lamb meat leftover.

If you are assembling these ahead of time, place the filled crepes in a large baking dish, and set in the oven on warm. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro, and plate with a dollop of harissa, if desired.