OH LAMBY BOY! SHEPHERD'S PIE
This shepherd’s pie recipe is high on the wow factor. The presentation is outstanding, and no one will know how easy this one-pot wonder is to prepare!
· 1/4 cup olive oil
· 4 lamb shanks, 1/2 lb each
· Sea salt, to taste
· Black pepper, to taste
· 1/4 cup all purpose flour
· 2 cups large dice yellow onion
· 1 cup carrots, peeled & cut in one-inch lengths on the bias
· 1 cup, cut in one inch lengths on the bias, celery
· 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
· 1/4 cup chopped garlic
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
· 2 bay leaves (preferably fresh, but you can substitute dried in equal portion)
· 4 cups vegetable stock
· 3 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, halved
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Put your Dutch oven on the burner, heat to medium-high heat, and add the olive oil.
2. Season the lamb shanks heavily with salt and pepper; don’t worry about over-seasoning. Dust them lightly with flour.
3. When the olive oil begins to smoke slightly, use your tongs to lay the lamb shanks on their sides into the oil without overcrowding them. Let them brown for about a minute, and then turn them slightly to begin browning the next section. Once they are brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Repeat this for all the shanks.
4. Reduce the heat in the pan to medium, and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Move them around in the pan using a heat-resistant spatula to help cook them evenly. When they have begun to soften and caramelize slightly after about 10 minutes, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf and allow this to cook together for 1 minute.
5. Add the stock and bring it to a boil. Turn off the burner, arrange the 4 shanks in the middle of the pan and surround with the fingerling potatoes. Sprinkle a pinch more salt and black pepper over the potatoes. Cover the pan and put it in the oven for about 3-1/2 hours. When the meat peels away from the bone, the lamb is ready! Present this right in the roasting pan. Garnish with lots of chopped parsley, and place it in the center of the table.
How to Cut on the Bias:
“On the bias” means cutting on a slight angle. Lay the vegetable horizontally on the cutting board and, with your non-knife-wielding hand, hold it down close to the end where you’ll begin cutting. Curl your fingers so that the tips are tucked under and the knuckles point outward—in the chef world, this is called the “claw grip.” Hold the blade of your chef’s knife against the vegetable at a 45-degree angle. Begin slicing slowly toward your holding hand, making sure to keep your fingers tucked in. Reposition your “claw grip” to make sure it doesn’t wind up a few fingers too short!
LAMB SHANK - Cut from the arm of shoulder, lamb shank contains the leg bone and part of the round shoulder bone and is covered by a thin layer of fat and fell (a paper-like covering). Lamb shank is usually prepared by braising or by cooking in liquid.
Recipes from Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens by Jennifer Schaertl
(HCI Books; April 2010; Trade paperback/$18.95)