October 26, 2010
Lately I've felt an abundance of love and joy (I think this naturally comes with being a newlywed, and especially when one feels she's one lucky lady), and I'm convinced it's the primary reason why everything I cook lately turns out delicious. The best recent example: this gorgeous dish I made for my amazing husband, food stylist, and photographer extraordinaire. Upon tasting the completed dish, I couldn't help myself from stating decisively, "This is the best thing I've ever made!" And I believe it's true. But I also believe that it's due not only to the fact that it's a great recipe, but also that I worked a lot of love into that braise and risotto. I love you, Galen!
Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon Risotto
from Bon Appetit, Oct. 2010 (recipes adapted from Restaurant Saveur, Baileys Harbor, WI)
*Note--roast tomatoes first thing. See risotto recipe, below.
Braised Lamb Shanks
6 lamb shanks (6 to 7 pounds)
2 T olive oil
2/3 c chopped, peeled carrots
2/3 c chopped celery
2/3 c chopped onion
4 c low-salt chicken broth
4 c low-salt beef broth
3 c dry white wine (I used Facelli Winery's Fume Blanc--the wine doesn't need to be expensive, but it must be drinkable)
1 1/2 c chopped fresh tomatoes
1/4 c honey
5 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
4 whole cloves
3 bay leaves
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground allspice
4 sprigs each: fresh thyme, rosemary, and Italian parsley
1 lemon, halved
Preheat oven to 325F. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Just before putting the shanks in the hot oil, dredge them in flour. Working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides and set aside. Add carrots, celery, and onion to pot and saute until light brown, about 12 minutes. Add both broths and wine; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add next 7 ingredients and herb sprigs. Squeeze in juice from the lemon halves; add lemon halves and lamb to the braising liquid. Bring to simmer, cover tightly, and transfer to 325F oven.
Braise lamb until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer meat to a large plate. Boil braising liquid until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 45 minutes. Return lamb to pot to rewarm.
Note--can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate covered until cool, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat.
Lemon Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
12 oz cherry tomatoes (I used the last of our yellow plum tomatoes from the garden)
3 T olive oil, divided
5 c (or more) low-salt chicken broth
2 T butter, divided
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped (about 1 c)
2 c arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c dry white wine (I used the same Fume Blanc I used with the lamb)
2 c (loosely packed) baby arugula or spinach
1/2 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
2 t chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
1 t chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 t finely grated lemon peel
Preheat oven to 350F. Place whole tomatoes on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 T oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until skins begin to wrinkle, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
(Note--I cut my tomatoes in half and roasted them for about 35-45 minutes. This intensified their flavor even more.)
Pour at least 5 cups of broth into a saucepan and bring to simmer. Cover and keep warm.
Melt 1 T butter with 2 T oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion; saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and garlic; sprinkle with pepper. Stir 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of broth. Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently and adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue to add broth by the cupful, stirring often, until rice is tender (about 25 minutes total). Remove from heat and stir in 1 T butter and all remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Option: you can fold the tomatoes into the risotto or strew them about each individual plate (this helps maintain their shape and integrity).
To serve: plate the risotto, then place a lamb shank atop the risotto and ladle sauce over all. Scatter roasted tomatoes about the plate, if desired.