Braised Lamb Shanks

The fall days just make me think of hearty, wholesome meals and this lamb shank is the best way to celebrate staying indoors and getting cozy.  The added bonus is that your house will smell dreamy while they slowly roast.

Lamb shank 5

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • salt & pepper
  • all purpose flour
  • olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups red wine (make sure you use good wine, something you want to sip while the lamb is roasting)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 ancho chiles, rehydrated in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 14 ounce tin of good canned tomatoes

Garnish:  1 minced garlic clove, 1 small diced chili, and a small handful of parsley, all chopped and mixed.

Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper, then dust with flour.

Preheat oven to 300

Heat oil in braising pan, large enough to hold all 4 shanks in one layer.  Brown shanks all over, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.  You may have to do this in stages.

Remove shanks to keep warm while you reheat the pan, add a bit more oil and saute the onions, carrots & celery until they have softened.

Lamb shank 1

Deglaze the pan with red wine, stirring to get all the bits of goodness off the bottom.  Add beef stock, garlic cloves, ancho chili (stem and seeds removed), rosemary, paprika and tomatoes.  Stir well and nestle the lamb shanks back into the mixture.  Cover tightly and put in the oven.

Lamb shank 2

Relax with that wine …… enjoy the aromas coming out of the kitchen ….

This recipe is so forgiving – if you have more time roast at a lower temperature, if you are short, move the temperature up to 350 or 375 and shorten your cooking time.

Check for doneness and as soon as cooked through remove the lamb shanks from the braising liquid and set aside.

Lamb shank 3

The lamb is cooked, but not yet falling off the bone tender, and that is what you are looking for.

Lamb shank 4

At this point, if you want a clear stock, strain the solids off.  If you don’t mind a more rustic stock use your immersion blender or standard blender (if using a standard blender BE SURE to leave the lid off or some place for steam to escape … trust me on this).

Nestle those lamb shanks back into the liquid and continue to roast until the meat literally falls off the bone.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the garnish over top and prepare to enjoy the feast.

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash & Onions

Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions

Peel butternut squash and cut into 1″ cubes

Slice sweet onion thickly (or try red onion!)

Turn squash onto baking sheet (I like a clay sheet) drizzle lightly with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper.

Roast at 425 until just fork tender – 30-45 minutes.

Remove from roasting pan, drizzle a very little bit of extra good quality olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Fall is a great time for getting a few meals out of a roasted chicken …. the house smells great 2 days in a row.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
 

In a roasting dish combine:

beets – quartered

turnips (optional!) – quartered

onion – halved and cut into wedges

carrots – thick slices

squash – peeled and cut into wedges

leeks – cut into pieces

garlic cloves – whole

Season everything with olive oil, crumbled dry basil, oregano and parsley.  Toss well and season with salt and pepper.

Place cut pieces of chicken into a bowl, along with the same herb blend, salt, pepper, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of dijon mustard – this can be pretty versatile so if you prefer feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or if you would rather use a vegetable stock for the soup just roast vegetables on their own.  

Roast in a moderate oven (375) until all vegetables are fork tender and ready for dinner, and the chicken is cooked through.  

This is a great fall or winter weather dish – fill up your roasting pan with as many fresh vegetables as you can find and roast away.  It does take quite a while for the vegetables to soften, so just keep testing them.

For a complete dinner, whip up some mashed potatoes and you are good to go!

The next day, take all the leftover vegetables (of which I hope there are lots) and simmer in either chicken or vegetable stock.  Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.  If you want a little more flavour in there, simmer a parmesan cheese rind or drop in a little tomato sauce.

Pulverize everything with an immersion blender, or a standing blender.  If using a standing blender, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO HAVE A SPACE FOR THE STEAM TO VENT – OTHERWISE YOU RUN THE RISK OF BURNING YOURSELF AND MAKING A DISASTER OF YOUR KITCHEN!!!.  

Taste again and adjust for salt and pepper.  Serve with some freshly baked biscuits for a great fall dinner.