Monday, March 9, 2009

Lamb Shanks with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans

I made my favorite lamb shank recipe yesterday. Actually, it's my only lamb shank recipe, since I refuse to try another one, because this one is just too damn good (although not terribly photogenic, at least when I make it).

The shanks are browned, and then braised for hours with veggies, wine, broth, spices, and anchovies. Yes, use the anchovies. They disappear after 3 hours of braising. You won't know they're there, but they add a little oomph to the sauce. Trust me.

After everything's deliciously tender, you mash the veggies through a strainer, and combine the mash with the braising liquid. I love the resulting sauce. I've found myself going back to the kitchen repeatedly to dip a piece of bread into the pot. I (almost!) don't even need the lamb.

If your shanks are small, you can serve them on the bone, topped with sauce. Mine were Huge(!), and there's lots of yucky bits on a shank that most people don't appreciate, so I removed the meat and added it back in chunks to the sauce. (Feed the yucky bits to the dogs, they'll love you forever.)

This is one of those dishes that's better the 2nd day. Please don't be alarmed when the sauce solidifies in the refrigerator overnight. It'll melt right back up.

For the white beans, I drained a can, tossed 'em in a dish with some very thinly sliced garlic and a little beef broth, and warmed them in the oven (covered with foil) while the lamb cooked.

The broccoli rabe was blanched, then sautéed in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes, finished with a bit of cider vinegar.

I'm full. And happy. And so are the puppies.


Bob said...

Oh man, that sounds so good. I love sauces that gel in the fridge, that means flavor and mouth-feel!

I've been wanting to make something with lamb shanks for a while now, but since my girlfriend won't eat lamb I haven't bothered. Sometime soon though, I'm going to make me lamb and her a pb&j. ;)

Vicki said...

Hi Bob - Do it! The wonderful aroma may be enough to change her mind :)

Betts said...

Strange, I was just looking for a good lamb shank recipe earlier tonight. When I typed in "lamp shanks" by accident, nothing came up. Imagine that!

Vicki said...

Hi Betts - Lamp shanks, huh? I think I've seen those in the store, right next to the boxtails :)