Whisk Wednesday~Braised Lamb Shanks

11 11 2009

braised-lamb-shank_basmatiSince we’re on a much more relaxed path in Whisk Wednesdays, which suits those of us still following along, this week I chose to braise Lamb Shanks.  Sadly, I couldn’t find a reference to a recipe in LCB@H,  I chose a general braising recipe for veal shanks, and went with that.

The biggest problem I have with lamb shanks is that sometimes they’re cut so long that they won’t fit in most of my braising pans.  Braising is best done in a heavy cast iron casserole, or brazier with a heavy lid, so that the liquid stays inside with the meat.  Dutch ovens are also great.  This is my 7 qt. cherished Le Creuset cast iron cooker which is really too much for 2 shanks, but it’s the only cooker long enough to hold the shanks.

lamb-brownI started by giving them a good all-over browning over medium heat, developing the fond that would later become the base for the great sauce in the end.  While the shanks were browning, all the other aromatics and seasoning elements were being put together…chopped onion, celery, carrot, tomato, and since this is lamb, garlic.  Add a bay leaf, a grating of fresh black pepper, 2 cups of beef stock and top it off with a sprig of rosemary, and we’re good to go into the oven at 350ºF for 2 to 3 hours.

lamb-braise

When I took this from the oven, there was very little liquid left in the pan.  First, I removed the shanks to a platter and covered them to keep them warm while I finished the sauce.  The basmati rice was already finished and waiting in the rice cooker.  I also removed the bay leaf and the rosemary sprig.  I added water to the pan and made my gravy thickening it with a slurry of cornstarch and water.

Tasting notes~
We love lamb to start with…and we almost always enjoy braised lamb shanks.  This was no exception. The lamb had been frozen for awhile, but there wasn’t the slightest hint.  It came out moist and full of flavor.  The vegetables melted into an intensely flavorful sauce that accented the lamb perfectly.  The basmati rice was the only disappointment.  It was a great choice with the lamb, but I didn’t care for the texture.  I would have been happier with a heavier, more densely textured rice for this dish.  You live, you learn!  Other than that, I’d prepare lamb this way again without hesitation!  However…I am looking for a Mexican lamb recipe…I’ve eaten the dish at a particular recipe chain…they call it Borrego…but that’s just the Mexican word for lamb, so I don’t know.  If you know of a recipe, please let me know!

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One response

2 05 2013
alisopriona.punt.nl

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