This fall one of our favorite restaurants, Legume featured a gluten-free braised lamb shank dish. Beware when ordering a dish like that out at a restaurant, because gluten will often hide in the sauce. The one at Legume was fine though. Anyway… I ordered it twice, not in one night, but I ordered it twice. It was delicious both times.
We are stuck in the polar vortex, and comfort food is a must right now in Pittsburgh. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to try out a new braised lamb shank recipe that will hopefully be as delicious as the one from Legume. I’m not a trained chef, I’m a home cook–trained by family, so sometimes I have to allow google to teach me how to cook some things. I of course know how to braise meat, but I needed a little inspiration for the sauce that I wanted the lamb to braise in. So I did what I always do: browse google, check out all of the non-paleo recipes there are out there, get a feel for how something needs to be cooked, and then wing it!
There were a few ingredients I threw together that I was unsure of after I added them, and thought to myself… “Well, I have either ruined the lamb we got from Whole Foods, or I’m a genius.” Which I’m guessing is what every self proclaimed chef has said to themselves at some point in their lives. I’m actually not a self proclaimed chef. In fact I’ll never call myself a chef, but that’s besides the point. Luckily lamb shanks aren’t too pricey, but I still would have cried if it didn’t work out.
Luckily for me (and Bill), I did something far from ruining the meal. I actually created magic. I really wanted to cook this lamb in red wine. Really badly. I love lamb or beef cooked in red wine, however I didn’t let myself. Not that I have a problem with cooking food in wine–it adds amazing flavor, I just wanted to keep the recipe “strict” Paleo. Instead, I used aged balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos in equal amounts. The fresh herb in this dish is rosemary, which is an herb I wouldn’t typically pair with coconut aminos, but in this case it totally worked! The flavors in this recipe are out of this world, if I do say so myself. This meal was so easy to make, albeit time consuming, but definitely a way to impress dinner guests without killing yourself in the kitchen.
I served glazed carrots with this dish, and everything was served over pureed cauliflower. Typically you would use brown sugar to make glazed carrots, but for this recipe I did a simple mixture of butter, water, and coconut aminos. They cooked in 20 minutes, and it all took very little effort. I think it makes a great addition to the “lets pretend I’m a trained chef and impress guests with little effort” list of recipes I make. This meal was really fun for me. Sometimes I enjoy doing something that takes a little more time and consideration. It’s calming to me. Maybe I should cook fancy meals for my husband more often! (uhhh, YES! -Bill)
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
- 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, ghee, or tallow
- 1 1 1 Vidalia Onion, sliced
- 5 cloves 5 cloves 5 cloves Garlic, smashed
- 5 pieces 5 pieces 5 pieces Celery, whole stalks, plus the greens for braising
- 1 sprig 1 sprig 1 sprig fresh Rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup 1/4 cup 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
- 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup Beef Bone Broth
- 6 oz 6 oz 6 oz Tomato Paste
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp Tallow
- 4 4 4 Lamb Shanks, half shanks
- Prior to cooking, make sure that you have beef broth on hand, either purchased or homemade.
- Removed the lamb shanks from the fridge, and allow to come up to room temperature, rinse and pat dry. You can leave them out while you start cooking the braising mixture.
- In a large cast iron soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion to the pot, and saute, adding a pinch of salt to season as well as allow the onions to release some liquid.
- After a minute or so, add the garlic to the pot, and continue to saute.
- After another minute, add the celery and rosemary to the pot, and continue to saute until the vegetables have softened.
- Whisk the balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos together, and pour over the vegetables. Stir to evenly combine. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the vegetables cook in the liquid for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the beef broth to the pot, and stir to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Add the tomato paste to the pot, and stir until it is evenly combined. Allow to cook for about a minute, and then remove from heat.
- Season the lamb shanks with salt, and heat the tallow (or your choice of frying fat) in a cast iron skillet over high heat.
- Sear the lamb shanks until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
- Transfer the lamb shanks to the pot with the braising liquid, turning to coat with liquid.
- Bring lamb shanks to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for about two and a half hours, checking every so often, and rotating the lamb shanks. They will be finished when the meat is tender and can fall off the bone.
- Place the carrots into a large skillet.
- Cut the tablespoons of butter in half, and place three on top of the carrots, and three in the bottom of the skillet around the carrots.
- Pour coconut aminos and water over the carrots.
- Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Turn burner on to medium heat, and cover with a lid.
- Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove the lid and spoon any remaining liquid over the carrots, as well as turn the carrots to coat in the sauce.
If there is a lot of liquid left after the carrots are tender, turn the heat up to high to reduce the liquid to a glaze, but there shouldn't be too much liquid left after the carrots cook.