City Palate

The Wine & Beer Issue - May June 2017

Wine-Braised Lamb Shanks with Creamy Polenta, Cherry Tomatoes and Lamb Jus


Nov/Dec 2009

8 10-oz. shanks of Alberta lamb

salt and pepper, generous pinches of dried thyme, bay leaf and rosemary

canola oil

1 bottle dry white wine

8 c. veal or chicken stock

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise

1 leek, roughly chopped

generous pinches of dried thyme, bay leaf, rosemary and peppercorns

Season the lamb shanks with the salt, pepper and herbs, cover and refrigerate overnight. Sear the shanks in the canola oil over medium-high heat until browned. Reserve.

Simmer the wine in a saucepan until reduced by half. Heat the stock in another saucepan. Sauté the onion, carrot, garlic head halves and leek in oil until lightly caramelized. Place the shanks, vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, wine and stock in a large braising pot and bring to a boil. Place in a 350°F. oven and simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until the meat is very tender. Remove the shanks and set aside, strain the liquid through a fine strainer (discard the vegetables), skim the fat, and reduce the liquid to a saucy consistency. This is the lamb jus. Keep the meat and jus warm.

Creamy Polenta:

6 c. water

1 c. heavy cream

2 c. coarse-ground polenta

1 c. aged cheddar, grated

1/2 c. parmesan, grated

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water and cream to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta, whisking constantly until a porridge consistency, about 5 minutes. Simmer 20 minutes until the polenta is cooked. Add the cheeses, parsley and salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Cherry Tomato Sauce:

3 shallots, julienned

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1 t. each, chopped fresh thyme and fresh rosemary

1 c. dry white wine

2 baskets cherry tomatoes, cut in half

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the shallots and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Do not brown. Add the herbs and cook another 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce the liquid by one-half. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble: place a generous dollop of the polenta in the middle of each of 8 plates. Top with a lamb shank and spoon the tomatoes overtop of the shank. Spoon the lamb jus around the plate.



Meat