Sunday, October 6, 2013

Braised Lamb Shanks

I have to start this post as a confession, I have never made lamb shanks before in my life.  I decided to give it a try when I purchased them at the Farmer's Market yesterday.   Truth be told, I am not really afraid to make anything.  I love trying new things.  I decided a nice slow roasting of the shank was in order so that they would cook to fall right off the bone.  In case you don't know what a lamb shank is I put a couple of pictures prior to cooking.  Also, here is a definition.

I began to look at the fundamentals of this meal and realized that the majority of it either came from local farms or our own garden.  Mike planted a winter garden of several different things.  A winter garden is usually something that you have that comes up during the winter.  He planted kale and it was so happy it came right on up and we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy it now.

Braised Lamb Shanks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt (add pepper if you want as well)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 - 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes and 1 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 lamb shanks
1/2 cup room temperature red wine (I used a Cabernet Franc)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large oven proof dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and season with salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally to help separate the onions and cook them until softened about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add tomatoes (using a spoon to break up the whole tomatoes) and cook until they break down.  Add lamb shanks and cover with the sauce.  Bring to a boil, cover and place pot into oven.  Cook for about 3 hours, or until lamb is fork tender.  With about the last 15 minutes of cook time, remove lid and add wine.  Cover again and let cook until done.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
Up to a 1/4 cup of coconut milk
Place sweet potatoes into a large pan and cover with water.  Place pan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil (don't let it boil over by adjusting the heat) and cook until fork tender.  Drain and then add sweet potatoes back into the pan and place on stove (no heat).  Using a potato masher, mash them while adding a little bit of coconut milk.  Continue to mash and add milk until you get the consistency you like.

Cooked Kale
1 large bunch of kale, washed and cut into small pieces
2 shallots, diced
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 white wine
In a large heavy bottom skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add shallots and cook until tender.  Add kale and stir.  Let cook constantly stirring to incorporate the shallots.  Add wine, cover and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove lid and let continue to cook to let liquid evaporate.  Serve.

In the pan after coming out of the oven

The meat fell right off the bone

Raw Lamb Shank

Raw Lamb Shank

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