4.05.2016

COCONUT CURRY MONK // elspeth



Right-oh. Hello! That post about keeping a sustainable kitchen; it's coming. Really and truly. In the meantime, I made a dress and a really good fish stew and I thought I'd share. I don't have any photos of the stew because we devoured it so fast there wasn't time. And this happened without red curry paste! Wonders never cease. 

As for the dress: sometime during the summer when I was working a lot and dreaming about not working quite so much and winter, I made this list of things I wanted to do over the off season. The list was written on the back of a test print of the bar menu in black Sharpie, and it had the weirdest things on it. Some things were as tinily specific as "buy striped shirt from Siobhan's store" and others as big and awesome as "green power." (Don't worry people! I got it. Ha. But seriously, we're s l o w l y going solar. Hooray ! ) What's weirder is that without so much as looking at the list all winter, I did almost every thing on it. I guess these were things I really wanted to do. 

Anyway. Somewhere near the bottom of the list it said "sewing for girls." I don't know if you've ever read any of Kyrie Mead's blogs—she's had a lot of different homes online, and I wanted to send you a link to one, but she seems to be without a spot at the moment—but she's an amazing writer and photographer. She also home schools and is a nature explorer and an avid cook, and she knits and sews all kinds of beautiful items for her four girls. Sometime a few months ago, I tracked down her Pinterest page for sewing (who am I? I no longer know. . .) and got reeeaaally into the idea of doing some sewing for my girls. Hence the dress. 



Sally picked out the fabric—strawberry print—and has been after me for weeks to get sewing. Finally this weekend with all the snow, we picked out a pattern and got to work. The process reminded me how challenging and rewarding it is to do something new with your hands. There were several hiccups, but we got through them, and it came out just right in the end. We are all more capable than we think.

COCONUT CURRY MONKFISH

This recipe came from a new-to-me site, Alaska From Scratch. So far, so good. A note: I was out of red curry paste, something I almost always have on hand. I followed an online tutorial for a quick substitute and instead used garlic, fresh ginger, fish sauce, dried lemongrass, and red chili paste (which I did have), and it tasted exactly the same! Wonder, gratitude, and amazement. 

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (OR! roughly 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, 2 5-inch stalks dried lemongrass, 1 teaspoon red chili paste, and roughly 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste)
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 bunch kale or chard several large handfuls spinach
4 monkfish fillets
a handful of chopped basil, for serving

Warm up the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes, until tender and fragrant. Add the curry paste or substitute ingredients, the chicken broth, the coconut milk, and the honey and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Stir in the greens, then arrange the monkfish fillets in an even layer around the pan. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally turning the fish and spooning the curry liquid over top, until the greens are wilted and the fish is cooked through. Serve hot. If rice is your thing, it'd make a nice accompaniment. 

3.24.2016

CREAMY LAMB MEATBALLS // the local food report


If you have a few minutes today, give a listen to my dad sharing his recipe for creamy lamb meatballs on this week's Local Food Report. They are so good, and along with a spring salad and a plate of hot cross buns (!) would make a great Easter meal. 

CREAMY LAMB MEATBALLS

This recipe comes originally from the book 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer, but my dad has tweaked it a bit to make it his own. Whatever you do, don't try to skip the half and half—buy some pastured cream and embrace the fat! That's why it's so good.

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 half-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced very small
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces ground lamb
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon garam masala

Pulse the fennel and cumin seeds in a spice grinder until they are mostly ground but still have a bit of texture to them. Add this mix to a large bowl along with the ginger, onion, garlic, lamb, and salt and mix well. Use your hands to form roughly ten golf-ball size meatballs.

Warm the oil and butter over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, turning frequently, until browned all over—about 5-8 minutes. Pour in the half and half and sprinkle the garam masala around, trying to aim mostly at the half and half and avoid the meatballs. (So you don't get any big clumps.) Raise the heat to medium high and simmer vigorously, uncovered, spooning the mixture over the meatballs every minute or so. The meatballs are ready when they are barely pink inside and the sauce has thickened, after about 8-10 minutes. Scoop out and serve hot, with spoonfuls of sauce, over rice.

3.22.2016

RICOTTA BERRY CAKE // elspeth


I am just here to say CRIKEY ! the ricotta berry cake was good and gosh, geez so was the chicken. (Made one rather important change: used a jar of rose hip jelly someone gave us instead of the apricot jam. Seems to me you could also use orange marmalade or some sort of rhubarb jelly.)

That is all. Happy Tuesday—cake recipe below! Have a good one, friends.


BERRY RICOTTA CAKE

This is adapted from Standard Baking Co.'s new cookbook, Pastries. The big changes I made were to cut down on the sugar (it started at a cup and a quarter—yikes!) and swap in whole wheat flour for all purpose. The result is more of a snacking/breakfast bread than a cake, which is what I prefer. We also used homemade ricotta, which was dead simple to make and absolutely delicious.

1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup ricotta
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries (I used a mix of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard 9" by 5" loaf pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Scrap down the sides and add the maple syrup and ricotta and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, again scraping down the sides and beating until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, and finally fold in the berries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until just set. Let the cake cool in its pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out and cool another few minutes before serving, if you have that much restraint.

3.20.2016

SUNDAY, MARCH 20 // elspeth


Hi there. Three things I'd like to cover today:

1. I've been missing you. Some small people with strong wills and messy hands have been keeping me busy. Ok, fine, and Outlander. Eeeyoow ! Jamie Fraser. Ahem.

2. I am hoping will ! be back in the very near future with a post on keeping a sustainable kitchen. It's something I think about a lot but don't talk about in detail much, but I've been thinking lately I really should. So, more soon.

3. Finally, last but not least, I just finished our meal plan for the week and thought I'd stop by and share. Deviled eggs, anyone?



Here's the plan:

This veggie-laden coconut curry bowl from Pinch of Yum. We've still got a bit of cabbage kicking around from our winter CSA, and my mom just brought some carrots down from her winter farmers market in Maine. Hooray!

Stuffed shells with homemade ricotta and last summer's tomato sauce. Enough said.

—With one of Drew's chickens, the apricot chicken dish my sister has been making OBSESSIVELY for the past six months. This'll be my first time, but I have 100 percent faith in her judgement...I mean, we can't even go shopping together without buying the same striped shirt. So, it's gonna be a hit. 

—In an ode to Easter: a lamb and veggie soup from Olives, Lemon & Za'atar. So far, it doesn't seem to be on the web, but if it's good, I promise to share. 

Friday Fish Fry ! We try to avoid canola oil (or more accurately, all new fangled vegetable oils) which means fish fried out is basically a no. But ! that doesn't mean we can't pull out a chunk of the tallow I made (which came out beautifully, using this tutorial and suet from Seawind Meadows Farm at the Orleans Winter Farmers Market) and some fluke and sit down to a treat that's going to nourish and please. Bonus: the slaw is another way to use up our winter cabbage and carrots, and we can make our own sweet potato fries, too.  

—Finally, because we all need a slice of breakfast/snack/after dinner cake sometimes, we're going to try a Blueberry Ricotta Custard Cake from Standard Baking Co.'s new cookbook. If the Linzer cookies my mom's friend Rebecca made from it over Christmas were any indication, it's going to be a winner. 


Happy Spring, friends.

2.22.2016

A FLURRY // elspeth

There's been a flurry of activity around here recently. Not all food related, but mostly. Two weeks ago, on that snowy Saturday, we drove up to Canton to pick up our annual grain and bean CSA share. When we got home we packed over a hundred pounds of flour and popcorn and beans and cornmeal into the cupboards and basement in Mason jars and giant white tins. 


We were out of just about everything—we ate the last popcorn the week before, a sure sign that things are getting dicey—and after that the only things left were a few black turtle beans and some rainbow colored dent corn. Getting in the new shipment felt like a very solid form of food security, not on a big scale, necessarily, but in the sense of having something tangible tucked away. 

We cooked the first beans the night after we got home—Soldier beans, I think, or maybe Jacob's Cattle—and they were insanely good. I didn't do anything unusual, just soaked them overnight in cold water and then boiled them the next morning for a few hours on the woodstove. When I drained them they practically melted into the strainer, and for lunch that day I cooked them with olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt. We inhaled them, all of us: soft, billowy cushions of beany butter. 

Beyond that we've been focused on spring: placing a seed order and reading up on the possibility of getting chickens and planning out a new set of cold frames on the south side of my parents' new cottage. There's a list going on the chalkboard: move the compost pile, fence the garden, weed and mulch the flower bed outside the kitchen window. It is too early to do most of these things—the girls are still sledding down a stubborn patch of snow between the pear trees and the raspberries—but it's nice to dream.


And it must be coming, because today at the farmers market we were able to get onions and pea shoots and kale and basil and a big pile of suet to render down into tallow. I've never made tallow before, but I have rendered fat back to lard, and apparently it's a similar process. We're out of lard and we buy ridiculous amounts of olive oil and coconut oil and butter, and supplementing with a little beef fat for cooking seems like a good way to keep things more local, spend less on cooking fat, and get the health benefits of fat from a grass fed animal

I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, here's a little inspiration from around the web.

—A lovely piece from Molly Wizenberg on the importance of letting kids help in the kitchen.

—A Ted talk on the importance of WHY we do what we do, and an interesting-looking app for generating collaborative change within an organization. 

And finally from the physical written world: Simply Nigella. I checked it out from the library last week, and it's gorgeous. Best of all, every recipe is simple and inspiring!

Have a good one, friends.


2.03.2016

HOME-GROUND GRITS // elspeth


I wonder, sometimes, how boring it sounds to be eating locally in February. Uh, yeah, we love kale! But then I make meals like this: pan-fried pork chops from the half pig we bought with grits I made from the dent corn that came with our grain and bean CSA, and Swiss chard my mom brought down from a farm near their house. It was a meal that satisfied in every way—it supported our neighbors and good farming practices and our own health and all the things we believe in—and it was also incredibly delicious. 



It also allowed for some learning. I'd never processed the dent corn we get with our CSA into grits before—I'd always just kept grinding until everything, or almost everything, was fine enough to be called cornmeal. But it turns out that's actually not ideal, and saving some of the bigger, tougher parts for grits is incredibly easy. 

We used this tutorial, but basically the first time you put the whole dried corn kernels into the grain grinder (we use this Kitchen Aid attachment), you use a very coarse setting. What comes out is essentially cracked corn. You then grind it a little finer, and two types of material come out: a fairly fine flour that looks like cornmeal, and bigger, harder pieces. You use a sifter to sift the cornmeal from the coarse pieces—apparently there are grades of sifters, like 1/16 and 1/32, and what you want is 1/32—and I have no idea where ours falls on this scale. It's your basic, every day kitchen sifter/strainer, something along these lines. But the instructions Alex found said corn generally yields fifty percent cornmeal and fifty percent grits, so once it started to look like that's what we had, I just used our regular old sifter and sifted it. I put the cornmeal through the grinder one more time on a super fine setting and set it aside in a jar for cornbread or biscuits or whatever baking project comes up next. 

The next morning we made our first batch of grits. I've always liked grits—they used to make them all the time at the cafeteria at Middlebury, along with a stomach sinking concoction called "Cheesy Eggs." I remember sitting in GIS class many a morning wishing I hadn't eating quite so many cheesy grits and cheesy eggs, and maybe that's why I've never gone so far as to buy some grits and cook them at home. But making them from scratch ! well. It may be a new Sunday routine. 

They do take a while—you add four and a half cups of water to a cup of raw grains, and like rice, grits are cooked with a lid. They also take some attention—you have to stir them fairly often with a wooden spoon and a whisk to keep them both from clumping and from sticking to the bottom of the pot. They're not a Monday morning kind of thing.

But when you have the time and you get the finished product, they're totally worth it. Both girls spooned down two bowls, and I ate a fair amount off the wooden spoon before any even made it onto my plate. The grits were creamy, almost Cream-of-Wheaty, but with a savory, cheese-laced flavor that I like much better. And they were excellent under a scoop of sautéed Swiss chard and mushrooms, and even better with a pan-fried pork chop on top. 

CHEESY GRITS

I've never had grits that weren't cheesy, though I'm assuming there are other ways. For now I see no reason to mess with a good thing: slow-cooked corn, melty cheese, a pinch of salt, and a little butter to smooth it all together. These are delicious on their own, but even better with something from the pork family (bacon? pork chops? pulled shoulder?) and some sautéed veggies or an egg. 

1 cup uncooked grits
4 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter
salt to taste

Whisk the grits into four and a half cups water in a medium pot. Bring everything to a simmer, turn the heat down, and cover the pot. Cook, stirring and whisking often, until cooked through—depending on the freshness and coarseness of your grits, this should take between 25-45 minutes. When the grits are soft and have a texture similar to Cream of Wheat, stir in the cheese and the butter until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. Season with salt to taste and serve hot. 

1.22.2016

WINTER GREENS & CHICKPEA SOUP // elspeth


The other afternoon I was reading through Jerusalem, looking for dinner, when I saw the picture of those three soups down there. Yum! I thought. That one in the upper righthand corner looks delicious. I conferred with Alex, and he agreed. I then proceeded not to read the captions that went with the photos, but to decide which recipe went with which photo based on intuition alone. Alex got a migraine, the kids got cranky and went to bed, and I ended up eating the soup in the bottom right corner, the gross looking one that is bright green, alone. You might think I would have noticed a small color issue with my ingredients, but, you know, eh! Orange, green, they're all the same.


To be fair, the recipe did start me off on an orange note. We were firmly in ruddy-colored territory: mixing cumin and cayenne and cinnamon and a bunch of other earth-toned spices and tossing them with diced carrots and cooked chickpeas. But it turned out that was just the topping; the soup itself called for onions and spinach and watercress, most of which I had none of. 



I did not let this deter me. Instead I used cilantro and parsley and kale, and things turned out just fine. In fact, they turned out better than fine, and much better than I thought they were going to. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I had no one to eat with, and after an hour of cooking and washing dishes, instead of sitting down to a cheery orange chickpea stew, I was staring at a thick bowl of steaming green puree. I spooned on some roasted chickpeas and carrots, as instructed, and a dollop of Greek yogurt, and resigned myself to a Bad Dinner.

But then! Something magic happened. I should have known—this was, after all, an Ottolenghi recipe—but I doubted. I won't again. Alex took it for lunch the next morning, and even reheated after sloshing around for hours in a glass container, it was deemed Excellent. Especially with that dollop of yogurt, and especially served with a little brown rice. So here you have it friends:

WINTER GREENS & CHICKPEA SOUP WITH RAS EL HANOUT

I'm not sure what to do here about the original ingredients versus what I used, so I'll offer both. If you're wondering, as I was, about ras el hanout—it turns out to be a spice mix. I didn't have any on hand but it comes together easily if you have even a fairly basic spice pantry. I used this recipe from Epicurious.


2 medium carrots
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 and 1/2 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 and 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 and 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
7 ounces watercress (I subbed a mix of parsley and cilantro)
3 and 1/2 ounces spinach (I subbed kale)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
salt
Greek yogurt or plain kefir, to serve

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the ras el hanout, and a big pinch of salt. Toss well on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Add half the chickpeas, stir well, and continue roasting for another 10 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender.

Meanwhile, make the soup. Warm up the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion and ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is completely soft. Add the remaining chickpeas, the stock, the greens, the sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, stir well, and bring to a boil. Cook until the greens wilt (obviously, kale takes a bit longer than watercress, but somewhere between 2 and 10 minutes should do).

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Taste for salt. To serve, ladle the green soup into bowls and top with the hot carrots and chickpeas and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

1.14.2016

FOR 2016 // elspeth

My grandmother passed away the day after Christmas. She was nearly 98, went on her own terms, and by all measures had a pretty good run of it. She knit that sweater down there, which is 5-year-old size, and a matching one, which is 2-year-old size, for me and my sister when we were kids. Just before the holiday my aunt passed them on for my girls, and somehow as I've watched them troll around the house, they've managed to sum up everything great about my grandmother and the things she's left on earth.


For starters, of course, there's her family, which was 45 members strong at her service Saturday. There was a private burial and then a lot of nice singing and praying in the chapel, all of which was to a tee as she dictated. This was followed by a nice reception, which was not exactly as she'd wished, since her instructions were that my mom and uncle serve only ice water. For those of us still in the land of the living at lunchtime on a Saturday, this seemed a bit harsh, so we had chicken salad sandwiches and a fruit platter and some cheese and crackers and punch instead. Hopefully she'll forgive us the extravagance.

At any rate, watching her move on has me thinking more than ever about our time here, and how we want to spend it. There are so many wonderful things to do in a day, and so few days until our time is up. Some goals are things we want to share, and other times they're things we want to sit with privately. Right now I'm in a private sitting kind of place. But for 2016, I can say this: I want to eat more popcorn, locally grown. I want to become an exemplary lunch-packer, with the goal of seeing every member of my household in exemplary health. I want to do my part to make our little corner of the world a better place. I want to buy less and reuse, reduce, recycle, swap, and collaborate more. I want to build some cold frames and have a good year in the garden and spend plenty of summer mornings with my girls, flying off the rope swing at Dyer Pond. I want to accomplish some Big Work Goals and some Big Personal Goals, and I want to eat more local seafood.   


If all that comes to pass, it will be a very big year indeed. We'll see. In the meantime, I hope 2016 is treating you well, and I'll be back soon with some proper pictures and a recipe. 

12.21.2015

WHO MAKES THEM BEST // elspeth

I made a soup today. I thought it was going to be brilliant, fantastic. It had all the right stuff—garlic and shallots and cumin and coriander and enough cilantro to stuff a mattress. It had carrots and split peas and a little bit of spinach, and when you were done you were supposed to serve it with za'atar smothered bread. Yum! But it also called for 15 cups of water, and I questioned the measurement, and then went ahead with it, and the results were, well, meh. I should have known.


Tomorrow, though, I will be doing the biggest grocery shop EVER, and when I get home I will be making a big pot of Portuguese kale soup. They've been making linguica in house at the restaurant in Provincetown, and I've got a bunch of kale and potatoes from the farmers' market and tomatoes put up in the freezer and kidney beans left over from our grain & bean CSA. I'm going to make a double batch, so that when all the travelers arrive weary Wednesday we'll have something to get us through the Angie's baking and the sticky bun charades and the prep that will accompany Alex's questionable-yet-awesome plan to spit-roast two legs of lamb over a tray of potatoes inside of our kitchen oven. (Thank you, Darina Allen!)

Oh! and then we have to get ready for Christmas dinner, which will involve glazing the smoked ham we just got with our half a pig from Seawind Meadows, halving heaps of Brussels sprouts, and roasting, emptying, butter-adding, re-stuffing, cheesing, and re-baking a whole bunch of big ole potatoes, in honor of my grandmother who makes them best. GAAAH and then there are oysters to shuck and biscuits to bake and Manhattans to drink and maybe we should just make a pitcher?

Which is all to say: HAPPY MERRY, from us all. Hope it's good out there.



P.S. Apologies for the recent lack of food-related photos. Happy solstice and all, but I'm looking forward to the return of light during the cooking hour.

P.P.S. Also, in the New Year, can we talk about the January issue of Bon Appétit? It is filled with so much good stuff, so many excellent ideas, that I'm not even sure where to start. (Although I'm leaning toward clams in this coconut stock.) I'll see you soon, friends.

12.14.2015

LAMB SHANKS // elspeth


The other day, out on a walk, Alex remarked that it felt like spring. It was late afternoon, and the temperature was still in the high fifties, and when he said it, for a moment my whole perspective changed. I was caught up suddenly in that excitement that comes when the weather turns, when a long sleeve shirt and a hat but no mittens feels like freedom and you can see summer on the way. I held onto it for a minute and then it left as soon as it had arrived. Something stayed on, though—an awareness and an appreciation of the way we are now—folding in, quieting down, savoring home. 

Home is a nice place to be right now. The Christmas tree is up and covered with ornaments and cranberries and lights down to about three feet, just above Nora's reach. At fifteen months, she is difficult to take anywhere property or quiet are held sacred, which once I am out I realize is just about anywhere indoors. But in the sanctity of our living room and Sally's company, every day brings a parade of new words and joint ballet performances and babydoll tending that requires less and less parental tending. And on the days when they are both in "school", I am actually getting things done at a desk, albeit slowly. 


In the meantime, we have been eating some fairly terrific things. We made the eggnog, and last Monday when we were feeling down and out for no good reason two friends came over and we drained a fairly serious amount from the pot and passed it around until good cheer was restored. We had beef stew at a friend's house with lots of other friends, and several arugula-pomegranate-avocado salads with greens from our garden that have had just enough cold and warm to keep them going. We've been feeding our vinegar mother red wine fairly regularly for a few months, and I've been pleased to discover that it makes a killer salad dressing. We subsisted on leftover turkey for no small amount of time, a situation I am already slightly nostalgic for as it made every meal both delicious and easy. And last but not least, Saturday night we made not just lobster but also braised lamb shanks. 

The lobster is nothing that needs describing (steamed, cracked, devoured with butter), but the lamb shanks are worth a recipe. I'd made a similar dish once before—something from Darina Allen, I think—but I'd forgotten how magic the meat is, stewed down with tomatoes and broth until it melts on your plate. This time I used the version from the Joy of Cooking, laced with middle eastern and Mediterranean spices and bursting with flavor. Casey was here, our sitter from the summer, and she'd never had lamb and was slightly skeptical. But this won her over, and Nora, and even Sally, who refused to eat it for a solid ten minutes ("Bread and jam, Mama"—some days I think I'm raising Francis) before finally digging in and declaring it "good." So here you are: a stew for staying in, for early evenings at home, for both health and merriment. 

BRAISED LAMB SHANKS

Every year or two, we buy a lamb from Border Bay Junction Farm in Barnstable. The meat is excellent, and the shanks almost always go first—they are simple, flavorful, and incredibly satisfying.

2 large lamb shanks
sea salt
black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, divided
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cinnamon
2 cups lamb or chicken stock or water
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced, peeled butternut squash

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper and rub with 1/2 teaspoon of the ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika. Heat up the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Add the shanks and cook until browned, about five minutes, turning halfway through. Remove the lamb shanks from the pan and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender. Add the spices: the mint, 1 teaspoon paprika, and the coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir well to coat and add the stock or water, the white wine, and the tomato puree. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Return the lamb shanks to the pan, cover, and bake until the meat is almost falling off the bone. This should take 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. Now stir in the carrots and squash, cover again, and bake until the veggies are tender, roughly another 20-30 minutes. Pull the lamb from the bones (if the shanks are ready, this should be very easy to accomplish with just a fork), cut it up, and return it to the stew. Serve hot.

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