Braised lamb shanks with chard and shiitakes

Braised lamb shanks with chard and shiitakes

We are at a great point in the year when spring greens are still available and summer produce is beginning to arrive.  This dish features the best of seasonal ingredients and was sourced almost entirely from the Boone Street Market.

2.5-3lbs Lamb Shanks (Clover Creek Farms)
1 large onion, diced

1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 tbls tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth, beef broth or water
1 cup red wine (a $7-$10 bottle of merlot will be great)
1 cup of dried sliced Shiitake mushrooms (Salamander Spring Gardens)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbls fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper to season
2-3 large red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
½ lb fresh Swiss chard, roughly chopped
3 tbls fresh parsley, chopped

Pre heat your oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a heavy bottomed oven proof pot, like a dutch oven, over medium-high heat.  Pat dry the lamb shanks and then sear them on all sides in the pot.  Do this in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the bottom of the pot and cause steam to get trapped around the meat.  Remove the shanks and keep them on a plate to collect any juices that come off.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add in the garlic and tomato paste and saute for 1 more minute.  Add the wine and stir to scrape up the browned frond that’s collected on the bottom of the pot.  Let the wine boil down for about two minutes before stirring in the broth, Shiitakes, bay leaves, cumin, rosemary, salt and black pepper.  Stir to make sure the Shiitakes are not floating on the surface and then add back the lamb shanks and any collected juices.

Cover with a lid and bring the pot to a gentle boil.  Once bubbling, place the pot in the oven and cook for 1.5 hours.

Take the pot out of the oven and check the liquid levels.  If it is looking low, add up to a cup of broth or water to bring it to about half way up the shanks.  Add in the potatoes and chard, put the lid back on and place the pot back in the oven for another 30-40 minutes.  You are looking for potatoes that are easily pierced by a fork and lamb meat that is falling off the bone tender.

Once done, remove the bones from the pot and pull apart the meat until it’s an easy to eat size.  Fish out the bay leaves and stir in the diced parsley.  This can be served as is, as a one pot stew.  Alternatively, you can not add the potatoes to the braise and instead mash or roast them as as side dish.