Friday, March 1, 2013

Birthday Dinner

Along with Spiced Pumpkin Cake, SP got a special birthday dinner: lamb shanks. I know. The Food Network chefs would be so disappointed in my messy plate above. I should have wiped around the edges.
Look at that beautiful lamb. Technically, lamb shank osso bucco. We've been wanting to try braising lamb shanks, but we either cannot find lamb shanks or they seem a bit too pricey. This was the first time he has seen this kind of cut at Costco, and it was not as expensive as lamb shanks we have priced at other stores, so he decided to treat himself for his birthday dinner. I was totally OK with his in store decision because it was his birthday and because I love lamb.
This also gave us a chance to use some of our celery, carrot, and onion stockpiles. The other ingredients: red wine, chicken stock, rosemary, and thyme. Braising might take some time, but after browning the meat, sauteing the veggies, and adding the liquids, it just goes in the oven for a while. In this case, it probably took about 2 hours total.
The lamb turned out very tender - the bones just fell right out. The braising liquid was delicious, too, and the vegetables were very tender but not mushy.
 We made the lamb on Sunday and enjoyed half, saving the other half to reheat on SP's actual birthday.
We served it over polenta, which never seems to be as tasty when we make it at home as when we order it when dining out. Maybe we need to make it cheesy next time?
We also took a shallot, some mushrooms, some cognac, and some sour cream and sauteed mushrooms for a side dish.
Creamy deliciousness. Plus, it used up some of the low fat sour cream, which does not seem to keep as well as the full fat stuff!
 And of course, more vegetable: roasted asparagus. Always a tasty choice to pair with lamb.
We are hoping Costco continues to see this cut of lamb, though with grilling season approaching I am sure we'll be grilling leg of lamb. I might choose a different braising liquid next time, maybe one with tomatoes, or maybe one I saw that used white wine and fresh mint.

Definitely a delicious home cooked birthday dinner.

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