Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lamb Shank Stew

First of all, I don't like lamb...something about eating it freaks me out. Second of all, I added rutabaga & parsnips....which I never use. Third of all, I varied wayyyyyyy from the recipe....They used a dutch oven in theirs, and I adapted it for a crockpot. I just finished making the stew....sort of--I am letting it cook a bit more now that I stripped the meat from it's bones (well it actually fell right off the bones) and added some salt & pepper to it. I will show the entire recipe I used then point out where I modified.
Olive oil
3 lbs of lamb shanks, each shank cut into a couple of pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 cut into 2-inch segments, and quartered lengthwise
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste ( I used stewed tomatoes)
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups chicken stock*
1 medium rutabaga, roughly chopped (1 1/2 inch pieces)
1 medium turnip, roughly sliced or chopped (1 inch pieces)
2 parsnips, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

So basically, I took the shanks and browned them in olive oil & wine. Then I added all the ingredients to the crockpot and let it cook for approx. 12 hrs. Then I made the Gremolta, de-boned the lamb, skimmed the fat off the top, and added salt and pepper. I am now letting the crockpot cook on high for the next 20-30 minutes to let the seasonings and such soak in. The Gremolata is a topping to put on as a garnish. Here is the way to cook it if you have a dutch oven:

1 Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, add them to the casserole and brown well on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer the shanks to a plate.
2 Add the unpeeled garlic cloves, celery, chopped carrots (half of your carrots, the other half are cut lengthwise to be used later in the recipe) and onion to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; boil over high heat until the liquid is very syrupy, about 5 minutes.
3 Return the shanks to the pot and add the stock and orange zest. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and braise the shank for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone tender; turn the shanks from time to time as they cook.
4 Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the root vegetables (turnip, rutabaga, parsnips, and lengthwise-cut carrots) in a large baking pan and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for about an hour, or until tender.
5 In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic with the parsley and lemon zest (the "gremolata"). Set aside.
6 Remove the shanks from the pot and transfer to a plate. Pass the sauce through a coarse strainer, pressing hard on the vegetables. Discard the vegetable pulp. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.
7 Return the sauce to the pan, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Separate the lamb meat from the bones. Add the lamb meat and root vegetables; simmer just until warmed through.
Garnish with the gremolata and serve.

OK, so the jury is back.....Fred gave the soup a ten....I thought it was a good soup, but I did not like the taste....lamb honestly freaks me out, and that could be why I don't like the taste. It's kind of like when my uncles told me that the reason Swiss Cheese has holes is b/c mice run through it. To this day, I still can't eat swiss cheese. The same goes with baby animals....

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