Tuesday, February 2, 2010

C is for Lamb Shanks with Cranberries

I wanted to come up with a savory cranberry recipe, errr, just because, so I started by thinking about what kinds of meat would be able to stand up to that. I decided lamb or duck might be good bets, since they have intense flavour, so I bopped over to the store.

Duck = Fail, so lamb won by default, which was not a bummer of any sort for me, since I love lamb. But I'd never cooked it before, so the adventurous-ness level of this undertaking cranked way up. Add on the experience of My First Reduction Sauce and I had a lot of fun with this one.

I consulted the recipe on the lamb package plus this one from AllRecipes.com before jumping in.

What I Did:

2 lamb shanks
white pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped zucchini
approx. 1 cup each of
- beef broth
- chicken broth
- red wine
- white wine
1 Tblspn dry rosemary
1 Tblspn dry thyme
1 Tblspn dry mint
dash of cranberry juice

1) Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper.

2) Cook lamb shanks until brown on all sides and remove to plate.

3) Add garlic, shallots, cranberries, carrots and zucchini to skillet and saute for 5-10 minutes.

4) Stir broth, wine, rosemary, thyme and mint into skillet.

5) Place lamb shanks in a crockpot and pour the skillet contents over them. The liquid should cover the shanks, so if it doesn't, add more both and/or wine until they are covered.

6) Leave everything in the crockpot on high for 3 hours.

7) Pour 2-4 ladles worth of the cooking liquid back into the sautéing skillet over low heat. It's ok if you catch some of the cranberries here as well.

7.5) Leave the lid off the crockpot, but the heat on.

8) Add cranberry juice to the skillet to taste.

9) Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.

10) Split the veggies and shanks onto two plates and drizzle with the reduction sauce. Serve with starch of your choice if so inclined.

How Did it Go?
Great! Holy cow, lamb is as easy to cook as pot roast. Now, if it were only similar price-wise, I could all but give up beef. Well, not steak. Yum.

What would I do differently?
Um, for once, nothing. Made more shanks so I could've had leftovers?

Monday, February 1, 2010

D is for ?

Hey there, food fans.

I'm working on hunt-and-pecking up my fourth and final recipe for C and am at a bit of a loss for what ingredient to play with for D.

May I ask for your suggestions?