Thursday, May 9, 2013

Braised Lamb & Lemon Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

For some reason, this winter & spring we started braising. A lot. Beef, chicken, lamb. Almost every weekend we had something braising in the oven. We're still trying to find the best ever, go-to braised lamb recipe. Our most recent attempt was a couple of weekends ago. We followed this recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon Risotto from Bon Appetit October 2010.
Our perfect braised lamb will have tomatoes & tomato juice. It most likely will include the lemon (or maybe orange, definitely a citrus component) and cinnamon, allspice, and clove flavors in this recipe. I think braised lamb is more flavorful with chicken and beef stock, like this recipe, or maybe all beef stock, which we haven't yet tried. I am still undecided on whether I prefer red wine or white wine in the braising liquid. Definitely lots of carrots, celery, and onion.

Our fresh herbs were not yet large enough to use (and still aren't!), so we were unable to use fresh sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Instead, we guessed at how much of each herb, dried, to sprinkle into the liquid. I would like to try this again with fresh herbs - I think that might just be the extra something I'm looking for in braised lamb. Maybe some olives, too - I had braised lamb shank at a restaurant in Charleston and the olives and some feta gave the lamb a lovely, salty, tangy flavor boost.
Instead if our usual polenta, we decided to make the Lemon Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes that Bon Appetit suggested with this braised lamb recipe. This risotto is now one of our favorite risottos! The roasted tomatoes, lemon flavor, and wilted arugula are delicious with the creamy arborio! I would make this risotto by itself as a meal or as a side with chicken instead of lamb. This might even be tastier than the Shrimp & Arugula Risotto that is our favorite.
Definitely a lot of work but definitely worth it.

Braised Lamb Shank recipe here: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/10/braised_lamb_shanks_with_lemon_risotto

Lemon Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Arugula recipe here: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/10/lemon_risotto_with_roasted_cherry_tomatoes

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