"Braised" Lamb with Pasta and Vegetables
Thought I'd share the Valentines day dinner I made. It's a loose recipe at best, and not deserving of it's own thread anyway.
- Lamb shanks, or equivalent
- Seasonings: curry, ground thyme, dill, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika
- 28 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- White Button Mushrooms
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1/2 a Lemon
- a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
I went in search of lamb shanks since I've cooked them before, but there were none to be had at the store, so I went with these. I don't even know what these are. Chop tips or something. They seemed to be a decent cut though, so I went with them. Season them with some curry, ground thyme, dill, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika. It's been hanging out in the fridge for a few hours.
Next we get our sauce ready on the back burner there. It's a 28 oz can of tomato sauce and 1 cup of chicken stock. It's seasoned with a little salt, paper, and some oregano. It's just getting warmed up, not really reducing it. In front there is a 5.5 qt enameled cast iron Dutch oven with some olive oil getting hot in it.
Brown the lamb on each side. Just a minute or two will do. I've salted it at this point with some kosher salt on both sides.
Next and not pictured, remove the lamb from the pot and add your sauce. Even though you've heated the sauce already, remove the large pot from heat when you add the sauce or you're going to have a tomato sauce eruption and a dirty stove. With a wooden spoon (no metal on the enamel!!!) scrape all the tasty bits off the bottom of the pot, that's flavor, folks.
Next add the lamb back into the sauce. Here you can see why this isn't a proper braising. As I understand it, braising liquid should come only 1/2 way up the side of the meat being cooked. I'm used to working with shanks, so I damn well drowned the little chop thingies.
Cover and cook for 2ish hours (shanks would have been 3 or 4). Keep the heat very low, you just barely want to keep a simmer.
When they're close to ready, get your veggies ready. We've got some asparagus there, some run of the mill white button mushrooms, and some "winter" shiitake mushrooms that happened to catch my eye and I threw in for shits and giggles.
Here's everything together getting happy. The veggies in the front are on med-high to get rid of the water from the mushrooms. They're just seasoned with a little salt and pepper (I like 'em simple). Right at the end we'll squeeze a 1/2 lemon over them.
On the front burner there is some Spanish cheese filled rigatoni, I don't know what makes it Spanish, I just grabbed it at the store. Any pasta will do.
And we're done. Finish the sauce after removing the lamb by adding salt and pepper if required (taste it) and a few table spoons of balsamic vinegar. It really brightens the sauce. Scrape the dust off the nice serving dishes and spoon some sauce over the pasta (serve some extra on the side as well).
Most importantly, be sure that the gift you got your significant other is nicer than the one they got you. This gets you out of doing dishes
P.S. I don't particularly care for lamb, but my wife loves it so I learned to cook it. Any seasoning tips from someone who does care for lamb would be welcome.