What is lamb flank?
Anything labeled as flank is usually a tough cut of meat taken from the abdomen or lower chest. Normally when you think of flank, you think of beef flank steaks. Honestly, I never heard of this cut of meat until I moved to Scotland.I first came to know this particular cut of meat when my husband brought it home to me ‘as a treat’. Which is just his way of saying, ‘Here, make something tasty with this.’
Later I came to learn that these cuts of lamb are normally used in soups and stews where they are slow-cooked over a long period of time to get tender and release all the lamb-y goodness. Being that I love those weird and often overlooked cuts of meat that nobody wants, I instantly knew that I had to make a recipe for it.
Slow-cooked lamb curry
No offense to all of the beautiful Mediterranean recipes I found online but I am kind of sick of the usual cooked with rosemary and garlic method. Don’t get me wrong-nothing is better than a tasty little lamb chop marinated in rosemary, lemon and garlic and then grilled. That combination of flavors is a foolproof way to get delicious lamb each and every time.
However, when I saw these beautiful cuts of lamb flank, I immediately was reminded of all of those slow-cooked curries I learned back in my Indian cooking classes. Meat always tastes better on the bone, they would say. So why not use this piece of bone-in lamb flank that can stand up to those long cooking times without falling apart too easily.
Take your time making this dish. The longer it cooks, the more the meat tenderizes and the richer it becomes as those spices deepen and darken in flavor. This curry recipe is absolutely fabulous when used in a biryani as the rich flavors really compliment the basmati rice. However, it is equally delicious as a stand-alone main course paired with some fluffy naan and a spiced-up veg dish.
Lamb flank slow-cooked until it is tender in a dark and rich Indian spiced curry. Serve on its own with naan or use it to make biryani. #curry #lamb #spices #budgetfriendly #recipe
500 g (~18 oz) of Lamb flank
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2–3 green cardamom pods (split or slight crushed)
1 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafetida (about 1/4 tsp)
2 medium onions (finely diced)
2 inch (4.5 cm) ginger
8 cloves of garlic
1 green chili
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground chili pepper
1 tbsp garam masala
400g/14 oz stewed diced tomatoes (1 can)
1 cup (240 ml) water
salt and pepper
1 tbsp sugar
Peel ginger and remove garlic from their shells and cut off fibrous ends. In a food processor, puree together ginger, garlic and green chili with a splash or two of water to form a paste.
Finely diced onions.
Season lamb flanks with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
In a large cooking pot, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Place seasoned lamb flanks and sear on both sides until brown. This should be about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove lamb flanks from pot and set on a plate nearby.
Reduce heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of butter to the same pot along with cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom pods, cumin seeds and a pinch or two of asafetida. Add diced onions and cook until soft and translucent.
Once onions have softened, add ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
Add turmeric, ground chili pepper, and garam masala. Cook for a minute or two to toast together and activate the spices.
Add diced stewed tomatoes and water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add seared lamb flank. Reduce heat to low or whatever maintains a low simmer and cook semi-covered for 1-2 hours.
The curry is done when the meat is tender and falls off the bone and the tomatoes have disintegrated into the gravy.
Taste and season with salt, pepper and a pinch or two of sugar to taste.
Indian food is anything but subtle. Get good spices and use them generously!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Main
- Method: Simmering
- Cuisine: Indian, Fusion
Keywords: curry, lamb, lamb flank, ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, spicy, Indian spices, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, garam masala, recipe, budget-friendly
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