LAMB SHANKS WITH MERLOT RECIPE
There are few more alluring -- and satisfying -- dishes than braises, especially now that there's a little chill in the air. Inevitably, they're fork-tender and flavorful, glossy with rich, aromatic sauces of stock and wine. That's why it's hard to resist the braised veal cheeks at Maple Drive, the pork shanks at Jar or the short ribs at Melisse. Or osso buco anywhere.Chefs will have you believe that braising is a technique that requires years of practice, but the truth is, anyone who can brown a piece of meat and add some liquid can make a great braise.We're not talking Grandma's pot roast. Once you understand a few simple principles it's easy to create braises as elegant and flavorful as those you find in great restaurants.As a technique, braising couldn't be simpler. You just brown whatever it is you're going to braise (in oil or butter), add liquids -- wine, stock or even cider or Armagnac -- cover, and cook slowly until it's tender. Add aromatics to the liquid -- onion, carrots, herbs, spices -- and the flavors will suffuse whatever you're braising. The simmering can happen on top of the stove or in the oven. The bonus? The marvelous aromas that fill the house as a veal shank or pork shoulder roast simmers slowly throughout a lazy afternoon.The secret to achieving superlative braised meat dishes is twofold.First, make sure to brown the meat really well. Use olive oil or butter, depending on the flavor you're looking for -- or a combination, if you want the old-world richness of butter and the flavor of olive oil. Use a heavy pan, but preferably not a nonstick one so you can deglaze the pan and release all the caramelized flavor that was cooked into the braising liquid, which will become the sauce.Second, use flavorful liquids to braise. Red or white wine and homemade stocks ensure delicious results. And don't be afraid to raid the liquor cabinet: Vermouth, Armagnac, Cognac, Calvados -- all these can add elegance and depth of flavor to a braise.The word "braise" comes from the French word for glowing embers. Once upon a time, braziers -- heavy, round pots with heavy lids -- were used to cook meat and vegetables slowly while suspended over coals with a small amount of liquid inside. The pots were tightly covered so the moisture -- and all the flavor -- stayed trapped inside. On top of the lid was a depression on which more hot coals could be placed, allowing the braise to cook slowly from above and below. In those days, braziers were used in place of ovens, which most people didn't own, but braising in an oven has much the same effect.Braising is forgiving. You can easily overcook a lamb chop, but when you braise, you can't really make any mistakes. You could braise a shoe in veal stock and red wine and that would probably taste good. Although the process takes a couple of hours, it's not at all labor-intensive: Once the pot is simmering on top of the stove or in the oven, the braise cooks itself.As the braising progresses, the flavors of the meat, seasonings and aromatic vegetables infuse the cooking liquid, which can then easily be turned into a sauce. Fennel seeds, garlic and sliced fresh fennel work gorgeously with pork; thyme or rosemary are naturals with lamb. Adding tomato to just about any meat takes a sauce into a different dimension. Bay leaves, mirepoix (diced onion, carrot and celery), dried fruit -- the possibilities are endless.Making the sauce can be as simple as skimming the fat from the braising liquid, then reducing it a little (as with our cider-braised pork with fennel). Or, if it wants body, you might whisk in a little beurre manie, a bit of flour blended into softened butter with a fork. Flouring the meat before browning it achieves a similar effect, though sometimes it's nice to brown meat without flouring it.Braising is ideal for do-ahead cooking -- in fact, most braises are even better the next day. They're the perfect thing to make on a weekend, when you can take your time and bask in the aromas. The next day (or a couple of days later) the flavors will have deepened, and you can breeze in after a long work day, lift off any solidified fat, reheat the dish and enjoy an amazing, warming dinner.But last-minute types shouldn't ignore the technique; it's a great -- and quick -- way to add a measure of glamour to winter vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, celery hearts or bok choy. You can even quickly braise fish or shellfish.Many different meats respond well to braising. You can use a large cut such as a bottom round roast for the classic boeuf a la mode (OK, it's a forgotten classic). For this dish, the beef is larded, then marinated in wine, garlic, onions and herbs, then braised. Or you can braise small pieces, as in stew meat. Or try something in-between: lamb or veal shanks or cut-up chicken or duck.Where larger cuts of meat are concerned, tough or fatty ones work best. The fat in the meat is a natural baster in the long, slow cooking process that tenderizes tough cuts and melds all the flavors. For stew, using meat with enough fat is essential for ensuring tenderness.To braise meats, choose a covered, heavy pan that isn't too much larger than whatever you're braising; that way you won't need too much liquid and the flavors will concentrate. Dutch ovens work well.Braising is the ideal treatment for lamb shanks, which are wonderfully rich, meaty and inexpensive; they're terrific braised in red wine. For our version, we chose Merlot, but Cabernet, Zinfandel or Syrah would work just as well. Chicken and beef broth are combined with the wine (though straight beef broth would be fine, too). Prunes macerated in Port deepen the flavor and, along with dried apricots, add a touch of faintly North African sweetness. The result is a meltingly tender, very rich dish with a beautiful, deep, dark sauce. Serve it with couscous or mashed turnips.When preparing lamb shanks for braising, remove any tough silver skin from the outside of the shanks. Use the tip of a small knife to loosen and pull it off. Once the shanks are seasoned and coated with flour, brown them in oil. Try to get a good even browning over the shanks; the browning will give the sauce a rich color and seal the juices in the meat.Pork pot roasts are wonderful braised, and hard cider is a natural medium. Pork butt (actually part of the shoulder) has enough fat and flavor to yield very rich, tender, delicious slices of meat when prepared this way. We garnish them with sliced braised fennel and a little fleur de sel mixed with fennel seed.Our osso buco is a fairly classic version of everyone's favorite veal shank dish. Pancetta and cipollini (an onion-like bulb) are sauteed, along with colorful mirepoix, and added to the shanks braising in veal stock. (You can make your own veal stock, pick up a good frozen one at a well-stocked supermarket or even substitute a good chicken stock.) We've foregone the traditional garnish of gremolata -- chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest -- in favor of serving it with parsley-flecked lemon risotto.When preparing osso buco for braising, be sure to tie a string tightly around each veal shank to hold the meat on the bone as it cooks. When turning the veal, do so gently, so the precious marrow doesn't fall out of the bone. You want it intact, so you can scoop it out with a spoon and savor every last bit.If you want to break out of the rut of spartan lightly steamed vegetables, try braising them. One of our favorite sides to accompany Asian-style fish or pork dishes is braised baby bok choy. It couldn't be simpler. Slice the bok choy in half lengthwise. Heat a little peanut or canola oil in a saute pan. Place the bok choy flat side down and let it sear till it's just a little brown. Sear on the other side, add a little chicken stock and tamari, cover and simmer until just tender. A drizzle of toasted sesame oil -- or toasted sesame seeds -- finishes it.For a light starter, braise whole trimmed leeks in nothing more than salted water -- these don't even need to be browned first -- then dress them in a simple vinaigrette, add a drizzle of crushed pink peppercorns, and serve them at room temperature.Celery hearts completely change character when braised. Quarter and trim the hearts, brown them in a little butter or olive oil, add chicken stock, maybe a little white wine and a branch of thyme and simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes, until the liquid is almost gone. They'll be nicely glazed.You may never settle for raw celery sticks again.First step for flavorBrowning the meat before braising creates a golden-brown crust that seals in the flavor. Season and flour the meat, then cook it in oil or butter over medium heat, turning it to brown evenly on all sides. To deglaze the pan, turn the heat to high and pour in a small amount of wine or stock. Stir to loosen all the small bits of caramelized meat that have stuck to the pan. Then add braising liquid and meat.
Provided by Leslie Brenner
Yield Serves 4
Number Of Ingredients 19
- Place the plums in a small bowl and pour the Port over them. Set aside.
- Remove any tough silver skin from the lamb shanks by lifting it with the tip of a knife, then peeling and cutting it off. Rub the surface of each shank with the garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a plastic bag. Add the lamb shanks one at a time and shake to coat.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lamb shanks and cook until brown on all sides, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the lamb from the skillet to a roasting pan large enough to hold the shanks in a single layer.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery and minced garlic to the drippings in the skillet and saute about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced rosemary. Blend the tomato paste with 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth and stir in. Add the remaining chicken broth, beef broth and Merlot.
- Drain the Port from the plums (reserving the plums) and add. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the lamb shanks. Add the soaked plums, the apricots and the bay leaf.
- Cover the roasting pan, place on the middle rack of a 325-degree oven and braise for 1 hour, basting after about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the shanks over in the broth. Braise for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting after 30 minutes, until the lamb is fork tender.
- Arrange the lamb shanks on a platter and keep warm. Bring the sauce in the roasting pan to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- To serve, spoon the vegetables and some of the sauce over the lamb. Pour the remaining sauce into a gravy boat. Garnish the platter with a few sprigs of rosemary.
LAMB SHANKS WITH MERLOT AND GARLIC
Lamb shanks become tender and juicy when braised in a good Pacific Northwest Merlot. If your pot is smaller than 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter, ask your butcher to crack the bones so the shanks will fit. Serve with lots of fresh crusty bread to mop up the sauce. From The Pacific Northwest (Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking) by Jean Galton.
Provided by lazyme
Yield 4 serving(s)
Number Of Ingredients 15
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Trim off any excess fat from the lamb shanks.
- Sprinkle the shanks with the salt and pepper.
- Spread the flour on a plate and turn the shanks in the flour, shaking off any excess.
- In a large, heavy ovenproof pot over high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Add the shanks (in batches, if necessary) and brown well on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the shanks to a plate.
- Wipe out the pot.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3-4 minutes.
- Return the shanks to the pot along with the potatoes, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, wine, and stock.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and continue to bake until the Iamb is very tender, about 30 minutes longer.
- Transfer the shanks to a platter.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and carrots to the platter.
- Cover and keep warm.
- Using a large spoon, skim off any fat from the surface of the sauce remaining in the pot.
- Lift out and discard the bay leaves and the thyme.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Cook the sauce until it reduces and is lightly thickened, 3-5 minutes.
- Pour the sauce around the meat.
- Sprinkle the meat and vegetables with the parsley and mint.
GARLIC ROAST LAMB SHANK IN ROASTED MUSHROOM AND SESAME BROTH
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil. Rinse the lamb shanks, pat dry and put them into the lined roasting pan.
- Mince 8 cloves of garlic. Reserve 1 tablespoon for the sauce. Coat the lamb shanks with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to tastes. Pour in about 2 cups chicken stock, cover the pan with foil and roast for 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, add the sesame oil a 10-quart saucepan, over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of garlic. Put on medium heat and let the garlic brown slightly. Add the mushrooms, stir and cook until the aroma starts to release, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds, remaining chicken stock and salt, to taste. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the shanks from the oven. Ladle about 1 cup of the broth into each serving bowl and top with a lamb shank. Serve hot.
ROSEMARY BRAISED LAMB SHANKS
Lamb shanks are slowly simmered with fresh rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine. Great served with polenta, or my family's favorite--roasted garlic mashed potatoes--as you need something to soak up the wonderful sauce. A fantastic dish for company, as all the prep work is done at the beginning, and then you just have to wait.
Provided by S. HODGE
Number Of Ingredients 12
- Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook shanks until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer shanks to plate.
- Add onions, carrots and garlic to pot and saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine, tomatoes, chicken broth and beef broth. Season with rosemary and thyme. Return shanks to pot, pressing down to submerge. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.
- Remove cover from pot. Simmer about 20 minutes longer. Transfer shanks to platter, place in a warm oven. Boil juices in pot until thickened, about 15 minutes. Spoon over shanks.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 480.5 calories, Carbohydrate 17.6 g, Cholesterol 92.7 mg, Fat 21.8 g, Fiber 3.1 g, Protein 30.3 g, SaturatedFat 7.7 g, Sodium 758.7 mg, Sugar 7.3 g
LAMB SHANKS BRAISED IN MERLOT WITH FIGS
I found this on a New Zealand site whilst looking for ways to use up a heap of dried figs Russell brought home. Prep time doesn't include marinating.
Provided by JustJanS
Yield 3-6 serving(s)
Number Of Ingredients 14
- Place the lamb shanks in a deep dish with the onions celery, olives, capers, dried figs, black pepper, rosemary and garlic.
- Pour over the merlot and marinate, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours-24 hours for preference.
- Remove the shanks from the marinade.
- Reserve the marinade.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and brown the shanks on all sides.
- Transfer them to a casserole dish.
- Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir over a moderately high heat until it becomes a deep reddish brown colour.
- add the stock and bring to the boil.
- Pour over the meat and add the reserved marinade ingredients.
- Cover and cook at 160c for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the meat is nearly falling foo the bone.
- Season to taste, serve over mash with greens on the side.
TOM VALENTI'S LAMB SHANKS
- 1.Preheat oven to 325°F. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- 2.Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion; cook until very soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
- 3.Add the tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, anchovies, and garlic; cook 3 minutes.
- 4.Add the wines, vinegar, and sugar; raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add the broths. Leave over medium heat while you brown the lamb shanks.
- 5.Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil into a sauté pan. Over medium-high heat, brown the lamb shanks well on all sides, using tongs to flip them over.
- 6.Transfer lamb shanks to a roasting pan and pour the braising liquid on top. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours more, turning the shanks over every half hour until the meat is very soft.
- 7.Remove the shanks from the braising liquid and strain the liquid. Skim any fat that rises to the surface, then use the liquid as a sauce. Serve in shallow bowls atop White Bean Puree.
LAMB SHANKS WITH POTATOES, PARSNIPS AND KALAMATA OLIVES
- Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add carrot rounds, onions and celery to pot. Sauté until vegetables are tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary and oregano. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juices, 2 cups water, wine and orange peel. Return lamb to pot, pressing to submerge. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer until lamb is just tender, about 2 hours 15 minutes.
- Add potatoes, 2-inch carrot pieces, parsnips and olives to pot. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and lamb is very tender, about 30 minutes longer. Using slotted spoon, transfer lamb and vegetables to platter. Boil juices in pot until thickened enough to coat spoon, about 5 minutes. Discard orange peel. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
- Spoon sauce over lamb and vegetables and serve.
GARLIC LAMB SHANKS IN RED WINE
An Alternative for Sunday Lunch or an impressive dinner party show piece -this easy lamb shank receipe with Roast Garlic, Veg and Red Wine will put a smile on your face whatever the occassion.
Provided by imabadpixie
Yield Serves 4
Number Of Ingredients 12
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5.
- For each shank tear off enough foil to wrap the shank- gathering at the top. Place a shank on each piece of foil and pull sightly on the edges of the foil so the shanks are sitting in little foil 'bowls'. Make a few incisions into the lamb shanks on the top sides.
- stuff the underside of each shank with the butter, thyme, dill, a few garlic slithers, half the rosemary and a little pepper.
- Push the remaining rosemary and garlic into the top side incision and scatter any residual on the foil.
- Mix the oil, salt and left over pepper and pour evenly over each shank - perhaps encouraging it into the incisions if you can.
- Scatter the leek and carrots onto the foil; pour over the red wine (just a little per shank), close up the packages and place onto baking trays (just incase the foil leaks!).
- Bake in the oven for at least 4 hours- checking every so often. In the remaining hour you may want to unseal the foil.
- This is yummy with sweet potato mash... and dont forget that once cooked, the juice let in the foil can be used as a gravy!
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