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Armenian Style Braised Lamb Shanks with Barley Risotto by Chef Bonnie Morales

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Diversify your recipe portfolio with this spiced up lamb dish. Pomegranate molasses mixed with the perfect amount of spice will make those taste buds sing a sweet, sweet melody.

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  • 2 Tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses

  • 1/4 Cup tomato paste

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek

  • 1 Teaspoon cumin

  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric

  • 1 Tablespoon salt

  • 4 Lamb Hind Shanks

  • 3 1/4 Quart Lamb Stock

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 Medium yellow onion

  • 1 Cup Barley, pearl

  • 1/2 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano, Grated

  • 1

    In a small bowl, combine pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, garlic powder, cinnamon, fenugreek, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and 1 tbsp of the salt.

    • 2 Tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses

    • 1/4 Cup tomato paste

    • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

    • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

    • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek

    • 1 Teaspoon cumin

    • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

    • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric

    • 1 Tablespoon salt

  • 2

    Mix until the mixture turns into a uniform paste. Spice paste can be made up to a week in advance. Refrigerate if making ahead.
  • 3

    Prepare lamb shanks by removing silver skin and large tendons. Evenly rub 1/4 of the spice paste on each shank and place shanks in refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

    • 4 Lamb Hind Shanks

  • 4

    To cook the lamb shanks: Place shanks in large cast iron skillet (or any oven proof vessel) and cover halfway with lamb stock.

    • 2 Quart Lamb Stock

  • 5

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger to 300℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
  • 6

    Cook for 7 to 8 hours turning shanks over every hour. Add more lamb stock to skillet as needed. Shanks are ready when the meat is tender and beginning to fall away from the bone.

    300 ˚F

  • 7

    When the lamb is in its last hour of cooking, start the barley risotto. Heat 1 quart of the lamb or beef stock to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

    • 1 Quart Lamb Stock

  • 8

    In a medium pot, heat olive oil and add onions to pot. Sauté onion until softened. Add barley and toast for about two minutes, stirring. Add 1 cup of stock, and the 2 tsp of salt.

    • 2 Tablespoon olive oil

    • 1 Medium yellow onion

    • 1 Cup Barley, pearl

    • 1 Cup Lamb Stock

  • 9

    Cook, stirring occasionally, on low heat until the barley has fully absorbed the liquid. Repeat this step, adding 1/2 a cup of stock at a time until the barley is completely cooked through.
  • 10

    Add parmigiano reggiano and butter and stir to incorporate. Taste and add salt as needed.

    • 1/2 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano, Grated

  • 11

    Serve lamb with barley risotto. Enjoy!
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    This recipe was provided by our friend Chef Bonnie Morales from Kachka. Check out more of her recipes and photos on her Instagram @kachkapdx.