Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Braised Lamb Shanks and Saffron Pearl Couscous with Cranberries and Almonds

Israeli Couscous with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Spring Onions

Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Braised lamb shank with carmelized pears and shallots

I always feel like I’m committing a culinary faux pas braising in the middle of June. I try my best to keep things seasonal but it just doesn’t happen when lamb shanks are on sale. How can I say no when there's marrow involved? Lamb shanks have to be braised (I honestly can't think of any other way to cook a shank cut) but I refuse to turn on the oven for 4 hours so I put the Le Creuset to good use on the stovetop.

I tied the lamb shanks so they would keep their shape while cooking but it was futile. After about an hour of cooking, the shanks contorted out of the strings entirely. Same thing happened when I made Osso Buco. meh, oh well.

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank
2 lbs lamb shanks, roughly 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick
1 medium onion, small dice
1 medium carrot, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 - 4 large thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 C dry red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive, vegetable, or canola oil
Water or chicken stock as needed

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