Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lamb Shanks For The Snow Digger In You

Lets hope we had our last snowstorm yesterday. Montreal was pretty much spared since we were covered by only 15 cm of snow… but the Eastern townships? They got 70cm! WOW! Now that’s a lot of snow. What do you do when it snows that much? You dig. You dig your way out of your house; you dig your car out of the snow bank; you dig, dig, and dig. Your car gets stuck in the snow; your boots are filled with snow; you’re hair is white from all the snow! Although you think it looks beautiful, you curse at Mother Nature for such a crappy Monday morning. So what does all that digging, cursing and swearing do to you? They open up your appetite!!

Which is why I believe slow cooked lamb shanks were perfect for a day like yesterday. Lets keep the healthy salads for summer meals and indulge in some insanely good meat that simply melts in your mouth. Go ahead. Don’t be shy and dig into the last bits of winter. Soon enough, it’ll be summer with its heat waves and you’ll be begging me to try out some “fresh and refreshing” recipes; you’ll be begging me to stay away from the oven and the heavy-duty meats.

Makes 8 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
8 lamb shanks
2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly diced
6 cloves garlic
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine
1 liter lamb stock (or beef)
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over high heat. Cook the shanks in batches, for 1-2 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from pan and place in a baking dish. Set Aside.

Add the leeks, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Pour over the shanks, cover and roast for 2 ½ hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes.

Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Note: When browning the shanks, be careful! The mix of the oil and the meat’s natural fat can be dangerous, as it will spout over high heat.  

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