Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ruhlman's Braised Lamb Shanks

Out of the Oven III
Made these braised lamb shanks out of Ruhlman's Twenty (an excellent gift if you are still looking) over the weekend and they turned out great. Super simple to do, but they do call for what Ruhlman refers to as "lemon confit" but I think most non French people would say is "preserved lemon"... but whatevs I guess. Twenty does have a recipe for preserved lemon (and my linked blog post works from this recipe from the New York Times), but being that it takes somewhere on the order of 2 weeks to a month for the confit/preservation thing to happen, you'll need to plan this dinner out pretty far in advance to make it that way. You could try Bittman's quick 'preserved' lemons in a pinch, or instead go ahead and buy them. They appear to be available online, but if you have a Mediterranean store nearby... or perhaps even a well stocked Whole Foods... then that's certainly an option worth exploring. Preserved lemons have a pretty unique flavor, so I think any curious cook should probably mess around with them at least a little bit.

Braised Lamb Shank and Moroccan Rice Pilaf

Preserved lemons aside, the lamb shank recipe is available online at Food Republic. Not much to comment on here, as the braising is pretty straight forward. In the linked recipe he says to use half of the preserved lemon in the braise and save the rest for serving, but I used two thirds and put the remaining third into a pilaf I made with some Moroccan spicing (garlic, ginger, tumeric, cumin).

For leftovers I just removed the lamb from the bone and mixed it in with the braising liquid for a pretty awesome stew. I would definitely make this again, but given the expense of lamb shanks probably only if I'm entertaining.