Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Braised Lamb Shanks

My summer cookbook purge continues.

This recipe is Maundy Thursday/Passover lamb meal.  In our good years, we celebrate a Christian Seder on Maundy Thursday.  The main course is lamb.  My notes in the cookbook?  "Best lamb I've made."  Depending on the year, all my kids will eat this.

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Braised Lamb Shanks
adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker

4 - 5 lbs lamb shanks, trimmed of fat
3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t cumin
1/2 c beef stock, chicken stock, or water
1/4 c dry white wine (optional, if don't use, increase water by 1/4 c)

Optional sweet pepper garnish (I've done this before, but I've also omitted it)
1 yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 T parsley, coarsely chopped
1 c crumbled feta cheese

Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 T of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat  Sear the shanks, in batches of necessary to prevent overcrowding, when the oil is hot, until golden brown on all sides.  Transfer to a plate.

Pour most excess fat from the pan and heat again.  Add the onion, celery, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, and saute until vegetables are soft and golden, about 8 - 10minutes.  Pour the stock and wine into the pan and stir to dislodge any yummy browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and place the lamb shanks on top.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours (my slow cooker cooks fast on low. I only cook this for 5 hours on low.  Know thy slow cooker and cook accordingly).  The meat should be very tender.

If desired, to finish, heat a skillet over medium heat and warm 1 T olive oil.  Add the bell peppers and salute until just beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

To serve, top with sautéed bell peppers (or if not using bell peppers, just with top with the fresh chopped parsley) and a sprinkle of feta.

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