"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Braised Lamb Shank with Carmelized Shallots and Pear

  • Serves: 8 people
  • Chef: Jennifer Buehler
  • Restaurant: Lauro
8 Oregon lamb shanks, 16 to 20 oz each
¼ (one-fourth) cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1/8 (one-eighth) cup garlic, chopped
¼ (one-fourth) cup fresh ginger, chopped
1 tbl (one tablespoon) saffron
1 tbl (one tablespoon) cinnamon
1 tbl (one tablespoon) dry ginger
1 tsp (one teaspoon) black pepper
1 tsp (one teaspoon) cayenne pepper
8 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup whole almonds
Chicken stock to cover
1 cup of dried cranberries
16 whole shallots
4 Bosc pears, sliced into eighths
4 tbl (four tablespoons) of unsalted butter
½ (one-half) cup of sugar


Liberally season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.

Brown lamb shanks in hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove meat and add onions, garlic, and ginger to pan for 5 minutes. Place shanks in deep casserole or roasting pan, making sure to leave room at the top for stock.

Cover lamb shanks with the chicken stock and all of the seasonings. Cover tightly and braise in a 350 degree oven for 3.5 hours or until lamb pulls easily away from the bone. In the last half hour, add the dried cranberries.

In a sauté pan, place about 4 tbs (tablespoons) of butter and 2 tbs (tablespoons) oil. Over medium heat, gently sauté the whole shallots and pear slices until golden brown. Add the sugar which will help this process. Add some chicken stock if the pan gets too thick or dark in color.

To Plate
Remove lamb shanks from braising liquid. In a separate pan, reduce the braising liquid with the pears and shallots. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. While sauce is reducing, place lamb shanks on top of a bed of cous cous. Garnish with the shallots and pear slices. Pour reduced sauce over top and garnish lamb with a dollop of plain yogurt and sprinkle of parsley.

Chef Buehler recommends pairing the Lamb Shank with an Oregon wine from new, young producers at Purple Hands Wine- their 2006 Purple Hands of Oregon Merlot and Oregon Pinot. Chef Buehler enjoys this wine with this dish because it is aromatic, light, earthy but not too tannic. This profile works nicely with the flavors of cinnamon, ginger and almond in the lamb sauce as well as the pears and shallots.

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