Yeman is an Arabian nation settled on the banks of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. A visit to this land as old as time, is a visit to living history. Whereas most people think the countries making up the "Arab World" are awash with oil money, the country of Yemen is the poorest and least developed - but their native cuisine is one of the tastiest not just in the Arab world, but in the whole world.
When on a culinary cultural tour of the Middle East a few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. I was taken aback by the almost pre-historic look of the city (as compared to the other countries we visited). There were times outside the city where I seriously felt nothing had changed since the days of the Roman Empire. Once I had the opportunity to taste their national foods and learn their culinary customs I came to the full realization that sometimes "modernization" is not really the best thing. Though they are a poor country, their food is rich and bountiful. The people were always smiling and loved to laugh.
Ingredients needed to make Port Braised Lamb Shanks (serves 2):
- 2 lamb shanks
- 1/4 cup four
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 Tbs. corn oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup port wine
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. celery seeded
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Wipe your lamb shanks of any moisture and set aside.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Dredge (coat) your lamb shanks in the flour mixture and then set them aside.
- In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the corn oil over medium heat. Add the dredged lamb shanks and brown on all sides.
- Remove the lamb shanks from the pan and discard the oil and rendered fat from the lamb shanks.
- Into the pan add and stir together the remaining ingredients. Place the lamb shanks back into the pan and cover with a lid.
- Place in the oven and braise 90 minutes.
- Remove the lamb shanks to serving plates, top with the braising sauce and serve.
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