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I love me some lamb. Don’t hate me but I love all nursery rhyme animals really. Lamb, duck, chickens, goats and pigs. I should probably hide this fact from you since I’m sure some of you are loathing me for my shameful admission,  but its just me, no point in hiding it, lying, and there’s no use denying it.

I love me some lamb.

So much so, that I usually save it for a special occasion. The other night was the last night my best friend of 28 years was going to be in town and I wanted to make something special. Something we could prepare together, and eat and laugh together at the table. It was all of those things.

This is not an everyday meal per say (but it could be), but something special to make for Sunday dinner. Or maybe save this for the next time your nursery rhyme animal eating girlfriend comes to town for a visit.

Cinnamon Citrus Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Fennel

4 lamb shanks

Spice Paste

  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Blend all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread the paste over each lamb shank covering them well. Allow them to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer they sit the more developed the flavor will be.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large heavy bottomed oven proof pot with a tight fitting lid, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over high heat. Brown the lamb shanks on all sides (appx 5 minutes) and set the meat aside. Lower the temperature and continue with the rest of the ingredients.

  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Martini Rosso (sub in a big red wine if you don’t have it or Marsala)
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (apprx juice of 1 orange)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups chopped fennel
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup honey

Add the onions to the pot and cook for 3 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add the water and deglaze the pot by scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. These are little flavor bombs. Add the lamb back into the pot along with the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix the ingredients into the liquid. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven to cook for 2 1/2 hours. Serve with a white bean potato mash, rice or risotto and plenty of bright green veggies.

Serves 4

Recipe Notes:

This can also be done in a crock pot if you like, just increase the amount of time to 6-8 hours. I haven’t tried it myself but I have no doubt that it would work. I often do “braised” dishes on the stove top as well. As long as the heat is set to the most gentle simmer possible, the results will be equally as tasty. One caution if using this method is to keep your eye on the amount of fluid in the pot. You may need to add a couple cups of water if the water evaporates too quickly.

Consider adding lentils to the leftover sauce with some carrots and greens like kale for a delicious lunch.

If you’re not using any alcohol (though the alcohol does evaporate) you can substitute, 1 cup of chicken or beef stock. It won’t taste the same but it will be delicious none the less.

 

Keep It Real Thursday

Welcome to Keep It Real Thursday!

The Rules:

1. Introduce yourself, your blog, and what you’re about in the comment section and a small blurb about what you’re sharing. This way people can get to know you a little bit right off the hop and hopefully follow you as well.

2. Be sure to add a link in your post back to this post. Simple linky etiquette. This allows your readers to find other posts that may help them on their journey.

3. If you’re sharing recipes, the only requirement is that the ingredient list be comprised of real food only, that means non-processed food items. That being said, we are all in different places on our real food journey, some more advanced than others. I invite all of you to share, no matter where you are on your journey, but I ask you to stay mindful when sharing your recipes that this is a whole (real) food blog. This means, no ingredient lists that include edible oil products (velveeta, frozen whip topping), protein powders, ketchup, white flour, margarine or white and brown sugar.

4. Less of a rule but more a suggestion: Retweet,  Stumble, or Pin this post so EVERYONE gets more exposure and traffic. It’s win-win for everyone.

Don’t have a blog? That’s ok, we’d still love to hear from you. Write your recipes or tips in the comment section so we can get to know you too!

Now it’s your turn to share your whole food recipes and ideas!



I’m sharing this with Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, My Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.



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