Recipe: Kaspar Donier's Braised Lamb Shanks with Lentils
Makes 4 servings:1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each) trimmed of excess fat and connective tissue, Salt and black...
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each) trimmed of excess fat and connective tissue
Salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 bottle (12 ounces) amber ale
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 medium leek, white part only, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
2 celery ribs, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 medium parsnip, chopped fine (about ¾ cup)
1 medium carrot, chopped fine (about ½ cup)
¾ cup French green (Le Puy) lentils
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season the shanks generously with salt and pepper. Add the shanks in a single layer and cook, turning, until they are well-browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a plate and set aside.
2. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns and a light sprinkling of salt and cook until the onion is softened slightly, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the beer and chicken broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the shanks, cover and transfer the pot to the oven.
3. Braise the shanks for 1 ½ hours. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the lamb shanks to a clean plate. Strain the broth into a 4-cup glass measure and discard the solids. Let the broth stand 5 minutes. Skim off the fat that has risen to the top and discard. Add more chicken broth, if necessary, to make 3 ½ cups. Return the liquid to the pot. Add the leek, celery, parsnip, carrot, lentils and ¼ teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer over high heat. Return the shanks to the pot. Cover, return to the oven, and braise for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the lid from the pot and cook until the lentils are fully cooked and the shanks are browned and fork-tender, about 20 minutes longer.
5. Transfer the shanks to a serving platter. Skim off any excess fat from the braising liquid. Add the spinach leaves and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle the lentils and sauce around the shanks, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
From "Restaurant Favorites at Home" by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. Kaspar Donier is the owner/chef of Kaspar's Special Events & Catering on Queen Anne.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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