Dear NEWS24/680 Food Lovers:
I have wrapped for the season hosting numerous family and company hands-on cooking parties! Great holiday menus created and unique, delicious fun was had by all!
One of my last recipe posts for 2018, is one of my favorites! Perfect for an impressive, celebratory dinner (Christmas Eve, Day or New Year’s Eve), Braised Lamb Shanks with Mint-Citrus Gremolata.
Where to find lamb shanks: These can be difficult to find. Actually, I have found “Open Nature Premium” lamb shanks in a cryovac package (approximately 1 1/2 pounds; perfect for a single portion) and reasonably priced at your neighborhood Safeway.
What is “gremolata?”: Traditionally, a gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley and fresh breadcrumbs is sprinkled on Osso Buco (braised veal shanks). My version is a bit more elaborate with pine nuts, hazelnuts and mint. A spectacular finish to this extraordinary dish. I suggest you serve the shanks with my Mashed Roots with Scallions recipe which was posted earlier in the season. I have included links to both recipes on the Epicurean Exchange BLOG.
If you want to learn more from me, maybe you would like to join me for a class or present a gift certificate for a class to a family member, friend or business associate. Check with Chef Charlie directly.
Braised Lamb Shanks with Mint-Citrus Gremolata
For the Lamb Shanks:
- 4 lamb shanks, about 1 1/2 pounds each
- Kosher salt
- 2 onions, cut into 1-inch dice
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 – 12 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 to 4 cups water4 bay leaves
- For the Gremolata:
- 1/2 Pugliese or Italian country loaf bread
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• To make the breadcrumbs, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the crusts from the bread, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place bread cubes into a food processor and run the machine until the bread is finely ground. Toss the crumbs with olive oil and salt and spread single-layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring the crumbs every few minutes for even browning. Allow the crumbs to cool. Combine with remaining gremolata ingredients. Set aside.
• Increase oven temperature to 400˚F. Coat a large Dutch oven generously with olive oil and bring to high heat. Season the shanks with salt and add to the pan. Brown all sides. Remove shanks to a sheet pan.
• Meanwhile, purée the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a food processor until it becomes a coarse paste. Remove and set aside.
• Discard the excess fat from the pan. Add a bit more oil and then the puréed vegetables. Sauté the vegetables until browned, about 20 minutes. Season with kosher salt to taste. Add the tomato paste, wine, and rosemary and reduce the liquid by half.
• Add the shanks back to the pot, and add the water to cover. Add the bay leaves and place pot in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Turn meat every 45 minutes, defatting, as necessary. Add more water, if necessary.
• Serve 1 shank per person, with a sprinkling of the gremolata
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oh, wow! That looks good.
Doesn’t it? We love it when Chef Charlie drops one of his gems on us. The gremolata thing – completely new to us. Loved learning about it.
Worked out extra hard and ran an extra 2 miles today in prep for all the eating I intend to do this week! Can’t wait!!!
Great plan! Happy eating!
Cooking like a madwoman right now. I love it.
Sounds like fun to me!
It’s Italian? Gremolata? I have never heard of it! It does sound good and I’ll be doing more research.
Italian? Yes! Traditionally, just parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Some recipes instruct to make a paste. I like the breadcrumbs and make it more of a dry crumble that adds texture and lightness to the richness of the lamb.
Brought some plus size dad pants in preperation for this week. Luckily many good cooks in our extended family. Have to travel a little bit but it will all be worth it!
Safe travels and enjoy your holiday meals!