Continuing from last month’s Fall/Winter comfort food dish, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs- this week, I’m going to share with you another rich and hearty dish that is perfect to keep you warm and satisfied during a cold day. Last month’s was one of my all-time favorite dishes, and this week is going to be one of my girlfriend’s all-time favorites: Baked Lamb Shank with a Red Wine Reduction Sauce. The recipe that I am going to share with you is one from Chef Jamie Oliver.
This recipe came from one of his cookbooks that I found at Goodwill! One of my favorite things is searching for great books, whether they are cookbooks or classics, for a more-than-reasonable price. I like going to places like Goodwill, and the best store that I have found for deals is Savers. Savers has the best selection that I have ever seen, and all of their books range from $0.99-2.99. Over the years, my personal library has expanded tenfold. Now I’m starting to get a little too off topic- back to the food.
Jamie Oliver’s recipe calls for a slow roasting of the lamb shank with herb butter and white wine over a bed of vegetables for 2+ hours, until the meat is so tender it just falls off the bone. For the sauce, I chose to pair this dish with a Red Wine Reduction for two reasons. 1) it’s my girlfriend’s favorite sauce with meat and 2) a red wine sauce helps to cut through the fat of the meat because of the acid from the wine and the vinegar.
As a side, I was inspired by the mash from our first dinner at the Rusty Pelican in Miami, Florida. I had the Sunflower Seed Crusted Halibut with Goat Cheese Peruvian Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Sea Beans and Red Pepper Coulis.
I loved the color contrast from purple potatoes that you usually wouldn’t expect from a mash potato, as well as the deep, rich flavor from the goat cheese. The good thing about the recipe from Jamie Oliver is that you don’t need to make any other vegetables if you don’t want to, because the vegetables at the bottom of the shank are full of flavor from all of the drippings from cooking.
The Shank, or shin, is the portion of meat around the tibia of the animal. One of the most well known preparations of shank is the Italian Veal Shank Ossobucco. Another relatively tough cut of meat, shank usually has to be braised like the short ribs that we discussed last week. The lamb shank tends to be low in fat, but full in flavor. If you are not a big fan of gamey meats, then lamb might not be for you. Most of the lamb that we have available to us in the US is domestic lamb from Colorado and international lamb from Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand and Australian are surprisingly cheaper than our domestic lamb, so that makes them the more readily available. If you want a meat that is less gamey than our international counterparts, then the domestic lamb from Colorado or the midwestern states would be the way to go.
There’s a little education on lamb shank and some of the best places to find it, now lets get to the part that you are all here for: the recipe for Baked Lamb Shank with Red Wine Reduction and Goat Cheese Purple Mashed Potatoes. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do and remember to always stay hungry!
Jamie Oliver’s “Incredible Baked Lamb Shank with Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme Butter”
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 100 g unsalted butter , (cold)
- a few sprigs of fresh sage
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 large carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 leek
- 4 quality lamb shanks , crown- or French-trimmed
- 12 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 2 wine glasses white wine
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Pick the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary into a food processor and add the butter, most of the sage and strip in the thyme. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then whiz together.
- Peel and finely slice the carrots and onion, then halve, wash and finely slice the leeks.
- Using a small knife, take one of the lamb shanks and cut between the meat and the bone from the base of the shank upwards. You want to create a hole big enough to put your finger in, making a sort of pocket. Do this to all the shanks and divide the flavored butter between them, pushing it into the pockets – this will give a wonderful flavor to the heart of the shanks.
- Tear off four arm-length pieces of tin foil and fold each in half to give you four A3-sized pieces of foil.
- Divide the unpeeled garlic and veggies between them, making a pile in the middle of each square. Rub the lamb shanks with oil and season with salt and pepper, then put one on top of each pile of veg, with a sprig of rosemary and a few sage leaves.
- Carefully pull up the sides of the foil and pour a swig of wine into each. Gather the foil around the bones, pinching together tightly (any excess foil can be torn or cut off with scissors).
- Place the foil parcels on a baking tray with the bones facing up, then roast for 2½ hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender. Serve the parcels in the middle of the table so that your guests can open them up themselves.
Goat Cheese Purple Mash Potatoes
- 2 lbs Purple Potatoes
- 1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 stick of Butter
- 1.2 cup Goat Cheese
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a medium size pot, bring the potatoes, water, and a pinch of salt to boil, boil until fork tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- In a separate sauce small sauce pan, bring the heavy cream and butter to a boil.
- Drain the water from the potatoes and mash with a whisk or a fork (or with my favorite device, the ricer Tip Tuesday 10/11/16). Mix in the goat cheese, and cream/butter mixture until desired consistency is achieved
Red Wine Reduction Sauce
- tablespoon olive oil
- 2small shallots, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 cups red wine
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- Sauté garlic and shallots over medium high heat until softened and slightly browned. Mix in the thyme. Deglaze the pan with the wine, mix in the balsamic. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, let reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.