Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lamb shanks

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, February 14, 2009

THE RECIPE IS FROM Richard Olney's Simple French Food, but we hardly need to look at it, we've made it so many times, and it's so simple:

Ask the butcher to saw the lamb shanks into slices a couple of inches thick. Brown them on all sides in a little olive oil in a heavy pot with a close-fitting lid; then throw in a head of garlic, the cloves separated but not peeled, and let them cook very slowly — we use an asbestos pad under the pot and turn the flame as low as possible. The meat will form its own juice.

After an hour or two sprinkle dry herbes de Provence on the meat and let it cook as much longer as you like. When all the liquid's gone you might want to sprinkle a few drops of water on the meat; we've never found that necessary.

Remove the meat to a hot platter, deglaze the pot with a little white wine, and pass the glaze and the garlic cloves through a food mill to make a heavy sauce for the meat. Serve with noodles. Tonight we had a small very delicate cabbage, simply quartered and steamed.
Viognier, Louis Preston, 2006


Laura said...

Oh that sounds so delicious! And on a cold evening like this it would be absolutely perfect. I've been so into Irish Lamb Stew lately, but this would be a beautiful departure.

Charles Shere said...

Lamb stew: it's such a different thing. I love it, of course, and I very nearly put a carrot in with the garlic when cooking the shanks, probably recalling the Irish lamb stews we've had. But the shanks are so intense, and intensely focussed. Let me know what you think.

Unknown said...

"saw the lamb shanks into slices"????
Really? I've never heard of such a thing. Doesn't that kinda negate the idea of shanks and legs? And visually, it would suffer, I would think. I don't believe I will try it, but if I do, how thick are the slices?
Thanks, and be well.

Charles Shere said...

Slice them in half. Or a couple of inches thick. Or maybe I was thinking of veal shanks. Lamb shanks in this country (USA) can be pretty big.