Saturday, December 1, 2012

Braised Lamb Shanks over Polenta

On the first cold December evening, I'm looking for comfort food.  For a dish to be called comfort food it must warm my complete soul.  Braised lamb shanks over polenta is just that meal.  Regardless of my Irish heritage, lamb has always been this carnivore's favorite meat choice.  It's richness and slight gaminess takes it above any other meats.  Braising it in the oven in my Lecruset with red wine and vegetables until the meat falls off the bone makes it the dish that can warm your soul on such a night.  This dish can be made the day before, which makes the perfect entertaining recipe.  Although I find not everyone loves lamb as much as me.  So here it is, my all time favorite comfort food recipe...Braised Lamb Shanks!

3 large lamb shanks (4 smaller shanks) - needs to fit in your dutch oven.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cup butternut squash chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of red wine
1 can of beef broth
1/2  cup crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bundle of fresh thyme tied
Salt & Pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil and brown lamb shanks over medium heat until brown (about 5 minutes). Remove meat and set aside. Add vegetables (accept garlic), salt and pepper vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and crushed pepper, saute for one minute. Add red wine, beef broth, tomato paste, and bundle of thyme.  Return meat and bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and put in oven for 1 hour.  Remove lid and turn meat, cook for an additional 30 minutes without lid.

Polenta - Serves 4
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup of Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal
1/2 cup parmesean cheese grated
1 tablespoon butter
Salt & Pepper

Heat salted broth to a boil.  Vigorously wisk corn meal in small tablespoons amounts into broth until no lumps and polenta has a smooth consistency. Lower heat to low and change to a spatula to stir polenta every few minutes uncovered for 20-30 minutes until cooked.  Add butter and parmesean cheese and stir to combine.  Serve immediately.  Can be held in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water until dinner is ready.  Stir and serve.

1 comment:

  1. I have done it before and I will do it again. A favorite. thanks for sharing.......