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