Saturday, October 26, 2013

Braised Lamb Shanks Two Ways

Two nights of blow your socks off lamb dinners with one slow cooker meal! This was so fantastic. A rustic but luscious sauce, silky and earthy from the herbs and lambs. Very rich, almost buttery and so satisfying. The lamb is so tender it falls off the bone. Slowly braised in wine, stock, herbs, carrots and shallots. The first night I served the shank and sauce on its own (but had I thought more about it, perched atop some creamy polenta would have been divine). The second night i shredded the remaining meat to make a ragu with the leftover sauce and tossed it with pecorino and egg noodles....a bowl of food for the lamb gods. OMG so good. Seriously. Go make this, now.

Braised Lamb Shanks Two Ways (Slow Cooker Magic)
a girl and her kitchen (adapted from scarpetta dolcetto)
4-6 lamb shanks (roughly 4lbs total)
2 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp salt (plus more to taste)
1 tsp black pepper (plus more to taste)
4 c beef stock
1 c red wine
4 shallots, sliced (could replace with one small onion diced)
4 carrots, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper for seasoning shanks
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbdp flour
Parsley for garnish if desired

Place carrots, shallot, garlic, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, stock and wine in slow cooker and stir to combine.

Season the lamb with a pinch of salt and pepper and dust in flour. Heat oil in a nonstick large pan over medium heat. Add the shanks to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Brown shanks on both sides (3-5 mins per side) and then add to the slow cooker. Fit them in tightly so they all are touching some liquid. Cook on low for 10 hrs. 1 hour before they are finished cooking, mix soften butter with 2 tbsp flour into a paste. Stir into sauce and replace lid, continue cooking and sauce will thicken slightly as the dish finishes. Remove rosemary twig and thyme sprigs before serving.

Night #1 – Serve lamb shanks whole with sauce over polenta/rice or on its own with side salad.

Night # 2 – put remaining sauce in a pot and using a fork shred the lamb (removing the fat and bones) and bring to a simmer. In a separate pot, boil ½ a bag of extra wide egg noodles. Add to meat sauce for a thick lamb ragu! Serve hot with pecorino cheese for topping (and some fresh chopped parsley if you have it).

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