Fall has finally arrived here in North Carolina, the past few days I have been at the NC Choices Women in Meat Conference. The Conference was held at a camp over in Efland, NC. There the leaves were beginning to change slightly. I came back with many new ideas full of inspirations from the talented women I was surrounded by.
With cool mornings and crisp sunsets it is time for some heavier flavored dishes. Lamb can be a finicky creature but the shanks are a great part to start with as a beginner. They can take a bit of abuse with cooking times and still turn out melting in your mouth. Lamb Shanks are a cool weather treat when braised with Carrots & Prunes. My braising liquid will be Red Wine. The wine lifts the flavor of the lamb and the prunes add a sweetness without leaving the savory realm.
In the NCF Store we carry Pasture Raised Lamb from High Rock Farm and Thistle Down Farm. The shanks are priced at $10 lb. The dish I am making with the shanks pairs well with Rice, Quinoa or Roasted Potatoes. Each Shank should yield about 1 1/2 servings and are packaged in twos. Dinner for 4 will run about $25 making it a great alternative to a leg of lamb if you have a small family. And at this cost you don’t need an occasion to make it. Lamb warms your soul with its depth of flavor.
Braised Lamb Shanks with Red Wine
- 4 Lamb Shanks
- 2 TBSP EVOO
- 2 6″ sprigs of Rosemary
- 2 cups red wine (for cooking I rely on Rex Goliath Pinot Noir)
- 1 cup diced prunes
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a Dutch Oven heat EVOO on med hi heat
- Season shank with salt & pepper
- Working in batches of 2 shanks brown shanks on all sides
- Remove shanks to cutting board
- Reduce heat to medium add in prunes, carrots & garlic, brown about 3 minutes
- Pour in red wine deglazing the pan ( run a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan to get up the crispies)
- Add in the lamb shanks
- Rest Rosemary on lamb shank cover and place in oven
- Cook for 60-90 min. Lamb shanks size are dependent on the lamb if smaller they will cook faster. You want the meat to pull away gently with a fork. If it is not place back in stove and check in another 15 minutes. Lamb shanks take abuse of heat easily so do not fret if you are new to this.
- Rest for 5 minutes before serving.