Friday, November 04, 2011

My Go-To Favorite Very Easy Braised Lamb Shank and Shoulder Recipe

Puppy pic of the day taken last night at dusk. It's tough to tell these guys apart - don't you agree? Archie has an extra patch of color on one side. He's also a little more friendly and brave. Winston tends to stay back. They sure are handsome boys.

Read about some lawn-mowing sheep in the NYTimes Home section here. Hope to see some of you at the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild Meeting on Saturday.

Here's my favorite way to treat lamb shanks and shoulders. Truth is, we barely ever get to eat shanks because they are so popular and we have to keep them for our customers. Lamb shoulders treated the same way are gorgeous, just not as photogenic. We eat lamb shoulder roasts braised just like this. I'm slowly turning on many customers to lamb shoulders too. In fact, last week I sold out of them at the market. Should have brought more with me. It is difficult to find lamb shoulders at the grocery store but you can use something they call blade chops or Steaks. That is the butcher's code name for shoulders (at least around here).

Braised Lamb Shanks or Shoulder

This is one of those slow cooking recipes that makes your kitchen smell so warm and inviting on a cold winter day or crisp fall afternoon. Plan on at least 1/2 lb of meat person (for bone-in shoulders) or one lamb one shank per person. When buying bone-in shoulders, a lot of the white you will see in the shoulder roast is connective tissue, not fat. It will cook down slowly and add texture and flavor to the sauce. You can also make this in a slow cooker. Do the lamb browning and onion cooking in a separate pan, then transfer all ingredients to the slow cooker.
NOTE: The sauce, if there is any leftover, makes an awesome pasta sauce. Add some tomatoes and red wine if you need more sauciness.

Lamb shoulder roast, bone-in – approximately 3 to 4 lbs. OR 4 to 6 lamb shanks
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 28 oz can of Italian tomatoes (or 2 lbs fresh if available)
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon oregano or Italian dried herbs
1½ cups red wine or chicken or lamb stock
2 bay leaves
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil in dutch oven. Brown lamb on all sides. Remove lamb and add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Drain off excessive fat. Add tomatoes, carrots, red wine, bay leaves and oregano. Break up tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Return lamb to dutch oven and bring to a boil on top of stove. Lamb should be at least half submerged. If not, add some water.

Immediately, place covered Dutch oven in oven. Bake in oven for 3 to 4 hours. Half way through, flip the lamb over so the opposite side is submerged. Lamb is done when it is falling off the bone and can be cut with a fork.

Serve over polenta (as shown), rice or noodles with green beans or kale and a green salad.


Sally said...

Wow! the embroidery under the plate!

Turtle said...

looks delicious!

Auntie Shan said...

Yeah, I "noticed" that too! - [what SALLY said!]

And, I could eat... Maybe pet the PUPPIES later...

bookagent said...

The pups are just beautiful, I cannot tell them apart at all! This recipe is going on my must make list. Will let you know how it turns out.

Pam H

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