Braised Lamb Shanks & Root Vegetable Puree Serves 2, with leftovers For the lamb shanks 3 slices bacon, diced 2 lamb shanks 2 stalks celery, diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced 1/2 onion, peeled and diced 1 leek, rinsed thoroughly and diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 cup dry red wine 3 cups beef stock 1.5 ounce container veal demi-glace (optional) 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over high heat until crisp and all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and set aside for another use. Meanwhile, pat the shanks dry and season with salt and pepper. Add the shanks to the pan (one at a time if necessary) and brown well on all sides. Remove the shanks and set aside. Lower the heat to medium. Add the celery, carrots, onion, and leeks and sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste until the vegetables are well coated. Pour in the red wine, increase heat to high, and reduce until almost cooked out. Add the beef stock, demi-glace, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the shanks into the braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven. Cook the lamb for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, rotating the meat once during cooking time, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Remove the shanks from the Dutch oven. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding cooked vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve the shanks atop root vegetable puree and drizzle with sauce. (This would also be good served over mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or pappardelle.) For the root vegetable puree 2 carrots, peeled and medium diced 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and medium diced 2 parsnips, peeled and medium diced 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper In a medium saucepan, cover the carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender and easy to pierce with a knife, about 20 minutes. Place root vegetables in a food processor fitted with blade. Add butter, warm cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until the vegetables are smooth, creamy puree. Return to the saucepan and keep warm on lowest heat until ready to serve.
Related: Recipe: Bone-in Pork Loin with Dijon Sauce (Images: Nealey Dozier)