Monday, March 18, 2013

Good Eats: Braised Lamb Shanks with Spiced Butternut Squash

The dinner I made last night was so good that I had to share it with you immediately! I'm still thinking about it and I so badly wish there were leftovers for lunch!  My Mom and Dad sent me the best care package ever a few weeks ago filled with locally raised organic meats from Niagara and with it came a couple shanks of lamb straight from the family farm.  Dad's lamb does have a reputation as being THE BEST so I wasn't too surprised to find the statement to be completely true once I had it... This recipe was delicious and pretty darn healthy had I not ate enough of it to feed a small family… : )

Here's the recipe.  Inspired by this one:

What you'll need:
7 shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced
A couple good glugs of olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 lamb shanks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice
1 medium onion, diced
1 can tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
1 cup robust red wine (i used Organic Fusion)
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 butternut squash on the large side
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

What to do:
-Preheat the oven to 375 F.
-Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until they are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
-Heat another glug of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb shanks for 2 to 3 minutes per side; Remove to a plate and set aside.
-Reduce the heat to medium and cook the carrot and onion, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, wine, beef stock, salt and pepper; add the rosemary and thyme and return the lamb shanks and shallots to the pot.
-Cover the pan with two layers of foil and put in the oven at 375 for 2 hours.
-While the lamb is braising cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and lay flat in a baking dish with a tiny bit of water and cook for 45 minutes.
-Once cooked, scrape the flesh of the squash into a pot,  add 1 tbsp butter and spices mash until smooth. Keep warm until the lamb is ready.
-Take out the lamb. Using a fork, shred the meat away from the bones and discard the bones. Remove the thyme sprigs from the liquid in the pan and ladle enough of the sauce over the lamb to moisten it.
-Divide the squash between plates and spoon the lamb, with any extra sauce if desired, over the top and serve.
I also served this with a Marinated Fig Salad which was also amazing… I was really on my game last night. 

All I can say is that a happy lamb must make for a tasty one! You can check out how well these lambs are cared for over at The Farmer's Blog.

Thanks for reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Happy animals are the best to eat.
    No hormones no antibiotics lots of clean space to run around.
    They are very cute and it is sad to have to send them away to camp but while they are on The Farmers property they have a wonderful life.
    Check out the movie Food Inc. to see the alternative.

    The Farmer