Lamb shanks with Anson Mills polenta
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup flour
6 pounds Niman Ranch lamb shanks
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 turnip, diced
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup white wine
1 cup tomato puree
2 quarts light veal stock or 1-1/2 quarts beef stock and 1/2 quart water
1 herb bundle of rosemary, sage, and bay leaves tied up in cheesecloth
1 cup (6 ounces) Anson Mills Polenta Integrale
4 cups spring or filtered water
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan Reggiano
In a very large, ovenproof casserole, heat grapeseed oil to medium temperature. Flour lamb shanks, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Sauté shanks until golden brown on all sides. Remove shanks and set aside.
Heat oven to 300°F.
Add carrot, onion, celery, turnip, and garlic to casserole. Sauté mixture (mirepoix) for 5 minutes. Add wine, tomato puree, 1 quart of the veal stock, and the herb bundle. Return lamb to casserole, add stock to cover lamb, and bring to a simmer.
Place casserole in oven and simmer until shank meat pulls away from the bones—about 3-1/2 hours. (During cooking, add stock to keep meat submerged.) Remove shanks and keep warm. Remove herb bundle and discard.
Place cooled braising liquid and mirepoix in a blender and puree. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve shanks with sauce ladled over the top.
Place the polenta and water in a heavy-bottomed 2 1/2 quart saucepan (preferably one with fluted sides) and stir to combine.
Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the first starch takes hold, 5 to 8 minutes
Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are soft and hold their shape on a spoon, about an hour.
Whisk in the salt, pepper, butter and Parmesan. Cover and keep warm. (The polenta may be transferred to bowl, covered and set over barely simmering water. If necessary, thin the polenta with hot water before serving.)
Recipe Roundup March 2012