An opinionated blog beginning with advice on how to create the ultimate French sauces
Intro: I love the lamb shank because of the almost magical transformation that occurs as the shank, a cut of meat full of tough connective tissue, is slowly braised to tender perfection.
As the shank-along with herbs and vegetables-braises in the oven it creates a thin and flavorful sauce called Au Jus (literally "with juice" in French). The au jus provides a wonderful source of extra flavor for your guests to dip the lamb into.
The parmesan thickened polenta that the shrank sits on adds creaminess to the dish as well as adding little bit of a northern Italian accent to the shanks.
Steps to making Lamb Shanks
1) Sear your shanks. In almost smoking oil, sear the lamb shanks, two at a time, on all sides until golden brown and then remove and set them aside
2) Sauté your vegetables, strain out the oil, add your red wine and replace your shanks.
Searing your shanks, two at a time
3) Add chicken stock and the herbs and let the shanks braise in the oven for about two hours.
4) When the shank are done remove them and strain out the garlic, onions, carrots, and herbs. (You can tell when the shanks are done because the meat will loosen from the bone and be tender to the touch. Also the bone itself will start to become ivory-colored).
Shank pulls away from the bone: it is done
Braised Lamb Shank
Terms related to lamb shanks:
Au Jus- Braising liquid or juice.Braising- Method of sautéing a protein and then cooking it in its own juices along with added liquid(s).