Sweet and sour meat dishes were very popular during the Middle Ages. This veal shank recipe comes from the Golden Age of Bagdad, and it is as faithful to the original dish as we can figure it out.
- 12 dried figs
- 4 veal shank slices
- 2 Tbsp 1001 Nights spice blend, ground
- 1 leek white, cut coarsley
- 3 Tbsp butter
- ¼ cup water
- 3 Tbsp raisins
- 12 small, pitted dates
- 3 Tbsp honey
- ½ white almonds
- hint of orange blossom water
Put figs in a bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside.
Season veal shanks with spices. Put in a pot with leek. Salt, then add butter and water.
Cover and cook on low heat (the meat and leek should yield enough water to prevent the pot from drying out). If needed, add water during the cooking.
After about 1 hour of cooking, meat should begin to get tender. Add drained figs, raisins, dates and honey. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes.
During this time, prepare the almond milk. Put almonds in a blender and cover with water. Reduce to a light, smooth cream (2-3 minutes). Add water if necessary.
When veal is tender, pour almond milk on one side of the pan; shake pan gently. Cook for a few more minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. Spray with orange blossom water and serve.