pondělí 15. června 2009

Lamb shank with rosemary potatoes and grilled vegetables

I cooked this as the main course for dinner on my birthday. The Husband wanted me to cook these lamb shanks for a long time already and now we had the occasion. Lamb shanks are not easy to find in Prague, I bought these frozen in Makro and they came from New Zealand. Shanks are the less expensive pieces of lamb but they are very juicy and tender when cooked properly and they look very impressive on the plate. Serve one shank per person, they are about 300-400gr each including the bone.

Ingredients for 5 people:
5 lamb shanks
150gr of each, diced roughly - carrots, celery, parsley, onions
1 tbl spoon of honey or cranberry jam or apricot jam (I prefer apricot jam, but you can use anything that's sweet and sticky except sugar)
olive oil
herbs - optional
1 whole garlic bulb
salt pepper
1.5 kg potatoes
2 tbl spoons of fresh rosemary leaves
3 peppers
3 pieces zuchinni
balsamic vinegar
Skrape the skin and tissue from the upper end of the shank bone, this will make the bone stick out when cooked. Drizzle generously with salt and pepper, leave to marinate for a couple of hours.
Heat up some olive oil in the pot/dutch oven that you will use for baking the shanks. Roast the root vegetables on medium heat until they become soft, turn up the heat and add the jam or honey, let caramelise until the vegetables are slightly brown. Place the shanks along with the whole garlic bulb and herbs onto vegetables, pour some more olive oil on top, add more salt and pepper if needed, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2.5-3 hours. Remove lid, turn up the grill onto highest temperature and let a crust form (optional).
In the mean time wash some potatoes, wash them well as we will not peel them, and cut them into same size pieces, place in a baking dish. Remove some liquid/fat/juice from the pot in which the lamb is cooking, 5-6 tablespoons is enough, pour over potatoes. Add fresh rosemary leaves and salt, toss, cover with alfoil and place in the oven along with the lamb one hour prior serving time.
Cut the peppers and zucchini into same size squares and fry in some olive oil on high heat until soft but still with a crunch. Add salt, pepper and finish off with some honey and balsamico to balance out the taste.
Serve the lamb and the potatoes hot and the vegetables cold. We like it like this, but the vegetables are just as good when served warm. The root vegetables that were cooked along with the lamb should not be served, they have already given all they had to the meat and moreover they don't look good.
This makes a very filling main course, so if you are serving many appetizers then some diners will may want to split one shank between themselves. Between 5 people we had 2 whole pieces left untouched because there were many appetizers.
The recipe comes from the Chef Gurman magazine.

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