Friday, April 20, 2012

Tri Lamb Dinner Night - Lamb Shank with White Bean and Tomatoes

When Tri Lamb Group contacted me to host another lamb supper club, I jumped at the opportunity.  Making the Lamb Pizza the first time around was such a great success and got a bunch of my friends to actually eat lamb (some for the first time) - exactly what the Lean on Lamb group intended.  Being the lamb lover that I am, I love getting to share it with others while getting more comfortable with making it at home.

Dinner is almost ready!
This time around I invited a small group of girlfriends on a cold night for Braised Lamb Shanks with White Bean and Tomatoes.



The Necessities...
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and juice
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons herbs de provence
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can white beans (great northern or cannellini)
This recipe, while composed of a number of ingredients, came together really easily.  Because we were having our supper club on a Thursday night and this was going to need some time to cook, I decided to prep the night before, cutting, peeling and chopping the carrots, celery and onions.  The next evening I got home from work and immediately set to work.

I heated some olive oil in my dutch oven and while it was reaching a medium-high temperature, I generously salted and peppered my ENORMOUS lamb shanks.  The four of them together were rather intimidating.  Undeterred, I proceeded to braise each of the shanks (two at a time) in the dutch oven.  I was sure to braise them on all four sides to ensure they would cook evenly.  Once all four were nicely browned, I put them on a plate and set them aside for later.

Shank you very much!
Without cleaning out the dutch over, I added the onion, celery, carrot, tomato paste, herbs de Provence, garlic, salt and pepper and cooked it until the ingredients started to soften - about 5 or 6 minutes.

Lots of good veggies
After the 5 minutes, I added the wine, using it to scrape up all the tasty brown bits at the bottom of the dutch oven.  I then poured in the broth, tomatoes, and white beans and brought the mixture to a simmer.

Simmering....
Once it was bubbling, I tucked the 4 lamb shanks into the dutch oven, put the top on and allowed it to cook until the meat was tender and fell off the bone - about 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Tucked up nicely
It was amazing to see how these lamb shanks shrunk up.  The meat pulled up from the narrower end of the shank to make the whole thing look like a tomahawk steak!   Normally you would serve the lamb shank on the bone...

source
Even after 2 hours, the dish resembled more of a soupier stew, so we decided to serve this a bit differently than recommended.  I stripped the meat from the bone and served this in a bowl with a big spoon.  With a simple side of bread, this was a fantastic rich and hearty meal.  Once again, the meal was a hit with everyone who came over to enjoy.

Even better, these girls, most of whom would never look at a menu and order a lamb dish, have since gone out and order a lamb entree because of their experience at this supper club!  These meals really have helped spread the word on lamb and how it is such a lean and nutritional alternative to the more traditional beef!  For me, this supper club has given me another opportunity to grow more comfortable cooking a meat I love but am hesitant to play with at home.

Do you have an ingredient you love but are afraid of?  Have you ever cooked with lamb before?

Disclaimer: Tri Lamb sent me the ingredients and the recipe to make the meal shown here, but my opinions are my own.

7 comments:

  1. Loving everything you're doing with lamb recently! It's such an overlooked staple. I should really cook with it more!

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  2. That stew looks great, especially gorgeous in your nice Le Creuset pot :)

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    Replies
    1. It was such a great investment - I highly recommend!

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  3. how cool you have been introducing lamb to all your friends!! this dish looks hearty and delicious.

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  4. I love getting a lamb shank at a restaurant but have never attempted it at home. Whenever I cook lamb though, I remember how much I love it!

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  5. I served it the same way when I made it. Much easier that way.

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