lamb

Rack of Lamb with Mustard, Apricot and Rosemary

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We never eat out on Valentine’s Day. Restaurants are too crowded, the service is usually awful and the food not worth leaving the comforts of home.

Besides, there’s always the next day. My taste buds don’t know and don’t care if it’s February 14th or 15th. Valentine’s Day is an “extra” that, for us, doesn’t need the same kind of clock-like precision of Rosh Hashanah or Passover.

But I do always make a lovely dinner and serve on lovely plates with lovely utensils.

Ed would prefer Chinese food, but that’s too much of a fuss for the evening. So: rack of lamb. It’s easy. Simple. No fuss at all. An indulgence, but we deserve it, don’t we?

Roast Rack of Lamb with Mustard, Apricot and Rosemary

  •  1 whole rack of lamb

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or use 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the meat in a roasting pan. Mix the mustard and preserves and spread on the top surface. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Roast for 20-35 minutes, depending on degree of doneness desired (a meat thermometer should register between 120-140 degrees). Let the meat rest a few minutes before carving.

 

Makes 2-3 servings

 

Ouch! It's So Cold

It's like 9 degrees outside.

And there's something wrong with our furnace so it's not exactly warm enough in the house either.

Fortunately, there's a serviceman here.

Plus a slow-cook dish in the oven.

Both, I trust, will get life warm soon enough.

Lamb Shanks with White Wine and Rosemary

  • 4 lamb shanks, about 1 pound each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 leek, washed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Trim any excess fat from the shanks. Pour the olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shanks and cook them for 8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally, to brown all sides. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. Pour out all but about a tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, onion, leek, garlic and chili pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften the vegetables slightly. Pour in the stock and wine, mix the ingredients and bring to a boil. Place the shanks into the vegetable mixture and baste a few times. Place the rosemary sprigs and parsley in the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and cover the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until the meat is soft. Discard the rosemary sprigs. Serve the lamb as is, with the vegetables and pan fluids OR, puree the pan fluids with the vegetables and serve it as gravy with the meat.

Makes 4 servings.

The Original Lamb Shanks with White Wine and Rosemary

How does a turkey neck pass for a shank bone?  Let me just say this. On the first night of Passover my grandma didn’t want to roast a lamb shank just for the Seder plate. She thought it wasteful to leave meat out for so long and then have to throw it away.  And because she always made a turkey for the meal, well, its neck sort of had a shank-like shape didn’t it? So that was our “shank bone.”  No one ever questioned it. But years later, when I was the one hosting the Seders I decided to be more traditional. Besides, I learned that several of the local markets gave away shank bones (completely clean of meat) for Passover. First come, first serve of course, so you have to know the game and when to get there.  Besides, we like to eat that turkey neck, so I would think it wasteful to use it for the Passover Seder plate and then have to throw it away.  Of course lamb shanks are more than Seder plate symbols. They are soft, succulent and flavorful, especially if you slow-cook them, braised in wine or some savory stock and loaded with vegetables to accompany.  Some people do not eat lamb during Passover. But if you do, try these lamb shanks, which have a further benefit: you can prepare them 2-3 days ahead. Or make them some other time.    Lamb Shanks with White Wine and Rosemary       4 lamb shanks, about 1 pound each  2 tablespoons olive oil  4 large plum tomatoes, chopped  3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks  1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks  1 leek, washed and chopped  2 cloves garlic, chopped  1 habanero chili pepper, deseeded and chopped  1-1/2 cups chicken stock  1 cup white wine  2 sprigs fresh rosemary  3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste        Trim any excess fat from the shanks. Pour the olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shanks and cook them for 8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally, to brown all sides. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. Pour out all but about a tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, onion, leek, garlic and chili pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften the vegetables slightly. Pour in the stock and wine, mix the ingredients and bring to a boil. Place the shanks into the vegetable mixture and baste a few times. Place the rosemary sprigs and parsley in the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is soft. Discard the rosemary sprigs. Serve the lamb as is, with the vegetables and pan fluids OR, puree the pan fluids with the vegetables and serve it as gravy with the meat.     Makes 4 servings

How does a turkey neck pass for a shank bone?

Let me just say this. On the first night of Passover my grandma didn’t want to roast a lamb shank just for the Seder plate. She thought it wasteful to leave meat out for so long and then have to throw it away.

And because she always made a turkey for the meal, well, its neck sort of had a shank-like shape didn’t it? So that was our “shank bone.”

No one ever questioned it. But years later, when I was the one hosting the Seders I decided to be more traditional. Besides, I learned that several of the local markets gave away shank bones (completely clean of meat) for Passover. First come, first serve of course, so you have to know the game and when to get there.

Besides, we like to eat that turkey neck, so I would think it wasteful to use it for the Passover Seder plate and then have to throw it away.

Of course lamb shanks are more than Seder plate symbols. They are soft, succulent and flavorful, especially if you slow-cook them, braised in wine or some savory stock and loaded with vegetables to accompany.

Some people do not eat lamb during Passover. But if you do, try these lamb shanks, which have a further benefit: you can prepare them 2-3 days ahead. Or make them some other time.

Lamb Shanks with White Wine and Rosemary

 

4 lamb shanks, about 1 pound each

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large plum tomatoes, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks

1 leek, washed and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 habanero chili pepper, deseeded and chopped

1-1/2 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

 

Trim any excess fat from the shanks. Pour the olive oil in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shanks and cook them for 8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally, to brown all sides. Remove them from the pan and set them aside. Pour out all but about a tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, onion, leek, garlic and chili pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften the vegetables slightly. Pour in the stock and wine, mix the ingredients and bring to a boil. Place the shanks into the vegetable mixture and baste a few times. Place the rosemary sprigs and parsley in the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is soft. Discard the rosemary sprigs. Serve the lamb as is, with the vegetables and pan fluids OR, puree the pan fluids with the vegetables and serve it as gravy with the meat.

 

Makes 4 servings