Braised Lamb Shank II – with Gorgonzola Crust

While braised lamb shank is normally a great dish for fall or winter, we found a great recipe that transfers this braised deliciousness to a summer setting. This is an Emeril recipe where you braise the lamb about like normal, but next you make a gorgonzola crust and serve it over sweet corn and tomato risotto. Now you can have Braised Lamb Shank in November or July!

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The Lamb Shank

1 lamb shank                                         $4.00

Salt and pepper to taste                   $free (ish)

2 tablespoons olive oil                     $0.20

1 small onion, chopped                    $0.30

1/2 cup chopped celery                   $0.05

1/2 cup chopped carrots                 $0.10

2 cloves chopped garlic                   $0.20

1 cup red wine                                      $0.75

3 cups rich chicken stock                $1.00

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary         $free (from your herb garden!)

3/4 cup bread crumbs                      $0.75

2 ounces gorgonzola                          $0.83

1 large egg                                               $0.12

1 tablespoon fresh thyme                 $free (from your herb garden!)

2 tablespoons dijon mustard          $0.20

Total cost:                                               $8.50

Rub the shank with the salt and pepper to your desired taste to season it. Using a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-medium high heat. Once hot, add the shank and brown on all sides – this should take approximately 6-8 minutes. Transfer the shank to a platter.

Using the same oil, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Now add the wine and deglaze the pan, getting up all the bits left behind. Cook until slightly reduced – this should take about 3-5 minutes.

Now, return the shank to the pot and add the stock and the rosemary. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours with the lid slightly ajar. Come back and watch it to make sure the liquid doesn’t get too low. If it does, have more chicken stock ready.

While the shank is simmering, make the crust. Combine the bread crumbs, gorgonzola, egg, thyme, and some salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Reserve this until you’re ready with the shank.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

When the lamb shank has simmered for 2 hours, remove it from the pot and let it rest on a large plate until it is cool enough to handle. Bring the braising liquid with the veggies to a boil and let it reduce by about a third.

Now that the shank is cool enough to handle, coat it in the dijon mustard. Dredge the shank in the gorgonzola mixture, pressing down to make sure that the crust adheres. Place the crusted shanks in a baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Add the remaining bread crumb mix to the braising liquid. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the liquid to make a sauce for the finished dish.

When the shank is brown and looking good, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve over summer risotto and roasted okra and ENJOY!

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Summer Risotto: Sweet Corn and Tomato

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We used a recipe straight from Emeril for this one without any changes, so just as bonus for this page, here’s his recipe on how to make this delicious summer risotto:

  • 5 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 2 ears of corn
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Combine the stock, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and when foamy, add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the corn and rice and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook, stirring constantly, until it has been absorbed. Add all of the remaining stock to the risotto, 1/2 cup at a time, and cook, stirring constantly, until the previous amount has been absorbed before adding more. (This should take 15 to 18 minutes.) Add the tomatoes, chives, and parsley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat. Add the cheese and 2 tablespoons butter and stir well. Adjust seasoning, to taste, and serve immediately.

Yield: about 6 1/2 cups

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