50 gm(2/3 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano50 gmblanched almonds6small leeks, tops trimmed4zucchini, cut into julienne on a mandolin½ cup(loosely packed) each basil and mint leaves, torn2 tbsplemon juice, or to taste3 tspolive oil1 tspcaster sugarBraised lamb shanks1 tbspgrapeseed oil6large French-trimmed lamb shanks (350gm each)1.2 kgcanned whole tomatoes1 litrered wine750 ml(3 cups) chicken stock140 gmtomato paste3 eachrosemary and thyme sprigs2garlic cloves, thinly sliced½long red chilli
For braised lamb shanks, preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, season shanks to taste, add to pan in batches and cook, turning once, until browned (2-3 minutes each side). Transfer to a casserole with remaining ingredients, bring to the simmer, cover with a lid and braise in oven until meat is falling from the bone (3 hours). Set shanks aside, skim fat from braising liquid, then reduce over medium heat until slightly thickened (30-40 minutes). Return shanks to braising sauce and keep warm.
Meanwhile, scatter parmesan over a large oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden and crisp (8 minutes). Roast almonds on a separate oven tray until golden (6-8 minutes). Set parmesan and almonds aside to cool, then transfer both to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat, add leeks and grill, turning occasionally, until completely blackened (15-20 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and steam until tender (2-3 minutes). Remove with tongs (reserve juices), discard blackened layer and set aside.
Add zucchini, herbs, lemon juice, oil and sugar to bowl with leek juices, season to taste, and stir gently to combine. Just before serving, stir in parmesan and almond crumbs. Serve shanks hot topped with braising sauce, with burnt leeks and zucchini salad.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.