lamb recipe

Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks

This might be one of my favorite meals. Braised lamb shanks are tender, full of flavor and the perfect comfort food for a chilly evening. They are also reasonably priced. Because the shanks can be tough, they need a longer cook, with liquid, to get really tender. That is what braising is. They can be cooked faster in a pressure cooker, when time is an issue.

Recently a friend and I decided to make them for dinner. We ended up cooking them for about 2½ hours. They were perfectly tender. You can cook them longer, if you like. They really are simple to make. Yes, they take a while to cook, but once in the oven you don’t need to do anything but wait. We ended up using the cooking liquid to make a sauce. I just used an immersion blender to puree the veggies and cooking liquid. It tasted so good.

So here is the recipe for lamb shanks.

Braised Lamb Shanks 

3 lamb shanks 

2 T. oil 

2 large onions, chopped 

2 large carrots, chopped 

1 rib celery, chopped 

4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped

4 cups stock- lamb or beef preferred 

½ c. sherry or red wine 

2 T. curry powder

Salt and pepper 

Cayenne pepper to taste 

In Dutch oven brown the lamb shanks in oil until browned. Remove from the pan, add the vegetables and brown them for about five minutes. Return shanks to the pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add sherry and seasonings. Place lid on pot and place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 2½- 3 hours. Check them after 90 minutes and add a little more stock, if needed. It is normal for some of the stock to cook down. I did not add more stock. Remove pan from the oven. Remove shanks and keep warm. Puree the vegetable mixture to make a gravy. Adjust seasonings. Serves 2-3.  

Ready for stock
Served with lentils and brown rice

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

If you are looking for a traditional dish for St. Patrick’s Day, you might want to make a Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s pie is a mix of ground lamb and veggies, in a gravy, that are topped with mashed potatoes. Then it is baked until the mixture is heated through and potatoes brown a little.

It’s a lovely dish anytime, not just for a holiday. There are a lot of variations for  shepherd’s pie, but is most often made with ground lamb. You can use other ground meat. It will still be tasty, just less traditional.

The potatoes are mashed, then spread over the meat mixture. You can pipe the potatoes on top, for a pretty presentation. I used a small ice cream scoop to place my potatoes on top. It looked pretty good.

I brushed the potatoes with some beaten egg, to give them a nice shine. You can sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese, if you like. For even more color on the potatoes, you can place under the broiler for a few minutes.

I used sherry in my gravy. Red wine would also be nice.  I also added some parsley to my mashed potatoes.

Shepherd’s Pie

2 T. oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 lbs. ground lamb

2 c. peas

5 T. flour

1 c. chicken stock- or a bit more

½ c. sherry

2 t. thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 lbs. potatoes

1 c. sour cream

3 T. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 egg

Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté onions until tender. Add carrots and cook until carrots are tender. Add lamb and cook until lamb is no longer pink. Add peas and flour, then stir until flour is mixed in. Add stock, sherry and thyme. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While cooking the meat mixture, peel, dice and boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes and mash until smooth. Add sour cream, butter and seasonings.  Place meat mixture in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. You can spread them, pipe them on or, as I did, use an ice cream scoop. Beat the egg and brush the potatoes with the egg. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes start to brown and mixture is heated through. You can place under the broiler, if you like, for more color. Serves 6-8.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

If you are looking for a traditional dish for St. Patrick’s Day, you might want to make a Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s pie is a mix of ground lamb and veggies, in a gravy, that are topped with mashed potatoes. Then it is baked until the mixture is heated through and potatoes brown a little.

It’s a lovely dish anytime, not just for a holiday. There are a lot of variations for  shepherd’s pie, but is most often made with ground lamb. You can use other ground meat. It will still be tasty, just less traditional.

The potatoes are mashed, then spread over the meat mixture. You can pipe the potatoes on top, for a pretty presentation. I used a small ice cream scoop to place my potatoes on top. It looked pretty good.

I brushed the potatoes with some beaten egg, to give them a nice shine. You can sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese, if you like. For even more color on the potatoes, you can place under the broiler for a few minutes.

I used sherry in my gravy. Red wine would also be nice.  I also added some parsley to my mashed potatoes.

Shepherd’s Pie

2 T. oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 lbs. ground lamb

2 c. peas

5 T. flour

1 c. chicken stock- or a bit more

½ c. sherry

2 t. thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 lbs. potatoes

1 c. sour cream

3 T. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 egg

Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté onions until tender. Add carrots and cook until carrots are tender. Add lamb and cook until lamb is no longer pink. Add peas and flour, then stir until flour is mixed in. Add stock, sherry and thyme. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While cooking the meat mixture, peel, dice and boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes and mash until smooth. Add sour cream, butter and seasonings.  Place meat mixture in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. You can spread them, pipe them on or, as I did, use an ice cream scoop. Beat the egg and brush the potatoes with the egg. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes start to brown and mixture is heated through. You can place under the broiler, if you like, for more color. Serves 6-8.

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

Chicken with Lemon Sauce

I did a cooking class yesterday and made lamb with lemon sauce. I loved it and wanted to make some when I got home- but alas I didn’t have any lamb defrosted. I also didn’t have the romaine lettuce the recipe called for. Part of the trouble with not going to the grocery store is having to swap our ingredients sometimes. I decided to swap out a few things and the end result was quite nice. I used boneless chicken thighs in place of the lamb and a combination of shredded cabbage and baby bok choy for the romaine lettuce. Frankly, I love the lemon sauce so much pretty much anything I served it with was going to taste pretty  good.

Here is the lamb recipe with my substitutions noted. Since I had boneless thighs I didn’t have to cook the dish as long, probably simmered it for 30 minutes in total.

Fricassee of Lamb with Lettuce

2 1/2-3 lbs. lamb shoulder, or use pork- I used boneless chicken thighs

3 medium onions, chopped

2-3 heads romaine lettuce, washed and sliced thin- I used 2 c. shredded cabbage and 2 heads of baby bok choy, sliced

1/2 c. olive oil

Egg and Lemon Sauce -recipe follows

Cut the meat into serving pieces. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the meat. Add salt, pepper, the onions, lettuce and a small amount of water. Cover the pot and let the fricassee simmer for about an hour. Prepare the egg and lemon sauce, pour it over the fricassee and serve.

 Egg and Lemon Sauce

1-2 c. stock

2 eggs

juice of 1 lemon

flour, about 1-2 tablespoons, depending on how thick you want the sauce

Bring stock to the simmer. Beat eggs well. Mix the flour with the lemon juice.

Add to the eggs and keep beating. Add the hot broth slowly while you keep beating. Pour the egg and lemon sauce in the pot and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Makes 1-2 cups. For a thinner sauce eliminate the flour.

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