27 September 2009

Braised Lamb Shanks and Polenta

I've been on a bit of a lamb kick as of late (I still have a lamb chop recipe to blog). Since Ian has never had lamb shanks before, when I found a good deal I jumped at the chance. I consulted the backlog of recipes I've had sitting in my online recipe file but I couldn't find anything that would really showcase the flavors I was craving. I also don't have a roasting pan with a lid, so I had to account for the foil I had to use instead.

I was going to add cannellini beans but at the last minute I decided to serve it with polenta. This was stick-to-your-ribs good.

Oven Braised Lamb Shanks

4 lamb shanks
1 small onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. oregano (preferably fresh)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 lemon, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Layer onions in roasting pan, placing crushed garlic cloves on top. Pour wine and vinegar over onions and garlic.
2. Add tomatoes on top of onions and garlic and sprinkle with basil and oregano.
3. Arrange lamb shanks on top, and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place a lemon slice on each shank. Cover loosely with foil.
4. Place shanks into a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Cook for 2 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone.

(from Anne Burrell's recipe on foodnetwork.com)

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 cup long cooking polenta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1. In a medium size saucepan, bring the milk, water and bay leaf to a boil. Season generously with salt, almost to the point of over seasoning. How do you know that you are there? TASTE IT! When it has reached a boil, slowly whisk in the polenta in small sprinkles. Once all of the polenta has been incorporated, reduce heat to medium and immediately switch over to stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook the polenta for 30 to 40 minutes, adding water if the polenta becomes too thick to loosen it up.

2. When the polenta is thoroughly cooked, it should look creamy and not feel gritty on your tongue. Remove it from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano and mascarpone. Serve it immediately, or place a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the polenta to prevent a skin from forming on the top.


Jackie at PhamFatale.com said...

Lamb is probably my favorite meat. I'm always surprised when people say they don't like it, although I understand that it has a strong, distinct flavor. Of course that's what I love about it. Looks absolutely lovely. Well done!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I must have been a dog in my past life because I love bones. I think I salivate more seeing your giant shanks than a piece of boneless meat.

Karine said...

I understand someone when he/she says that he/she is on a lamb kick! That meat is just so delicious.

Your recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Sweta said...

You should try sprinkling some "garam masala" on the lamb shanks the next time you make it-it'll give the dish a nice taste!

The Duo Dishes said...

Lamb has a delicious flavor. It's great as a chop or meatball. There's nothing wrong with beef though. Definitely love polenta with anything!

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