Monday, February 7, 2011

Braised Lamb Shanks

This  dish is melt in your mouth delicious. It's perfectly rich, juicy and tender. There are a lot of steps involved but it's totally worth it. Even though it takes time, it's not difficult.

I warn you, please don't attempt to make this if you want to take shortcuts. This is a no shortcut dish.  Your efforts won't shine if you buy stock. The beauty of it is the time and love and patience that goes into it so please please please DO NOT even think about buying packaged veal stock. If it's not homemade it's no good!

I served this at my dinner party this Friday and everyone loved it. The best part was when we rolled up our sleeves and started fishing for the rich incredible marrow that literally melts upon touching the warmth of your mouth. Ridiculous.

Ingredients for step one:
8 lamb shanks
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
5 cloves of garlic smashed
4 sprigs of rosemary
5 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Season your lamb with salt and pepper. In a large resealable bag combine all the ingredients and let marinade for 12-24 hours.

Ingredients for step two:
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
2 cups diced onions
bouquet garni (a bouquet of parsley including stalks, thyme and bay leafs that's tied together so it's easier to fish out of the dish)
2 cups red wine
8 cups homemade veal stock

Remove lamb from marinade and pat dry.

 Dust with flour and brown.  Heat large dutch oven and add oil and butter. Cook the lamb so that it browns. Remove once nice and golden. Don't panic if bits stick to the pot, that will all be deglazed and add flavour. When you've finished browning all the shanks (do this in batches) transfer them to a baking dish.

Add your onions, carrots, bouquet garni and celery. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the onions are tender and translucent. Add wine, making sure to scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Transfer this to the baking dish, cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 3-4 hours until the lamb is insanely tender. 

Transfer the liquid back to the dutch oven and cook on a simmer until it's reduced to a beautiful thick sauce

Gremolata Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

Add all your ingredients together with a pinch of salt and sprinkle on top of lamb shanks when hot.

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