Saturday, December 4, 2010

Roasted Lamb Shanks In A POM Wonderful Marinade

    In all the flurry after the POM Wonderful Party, and trying to come up with my Iron Foodie entry, I totally left out the dish that was the centerpiece of my dinner: The lamb shanks. In fact the entire menu was built upon my desire to cook these shanks with their lovely pomegranate marinade. Some people dream of counting sheep. I was recovering from my dental surgery, watching lamb shanks go over the fence 4 x 4 .
    The reason I love this dish is that it's pan roasted slowly in the oven so one can take care of other things (dessert, mani-pedis, anything Brazilian etc.) while it cooks away. Also there's nothing better than the deep, rich flavor of slow-cooked lamb infused with pomegranate juice. The juice acts as a tenderizer as the meat marinates overnight, making it melt-in-the-mouth tender for those of us who've had recent dental encounters... just sayin'.
    So here's how I made this two part recipe and glided smoothly into dinner.

Lamb Shanks In Pomegranate Marinade

Part One...Shanks' Eve ( I love how that sounds.)
Heat 1 quart of pomegranate juice in a large saucepan. Boil it until it's reduced by 1/2. This should take about 15 minutes or so. Cool the juice.
Put the juice into a blender or food processor along with:
1 cup of fresh mint
 2 halved shallots
 1/4 cup of grenadine
Put 6 lamb shanks into a large glass dish, pour the marinade over the shanks and tuck the whole thing into the fridge overnight.

Part Deux...The Day of The Shanks
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Drain the shanks and pat them dry
Heat 2 Tbs of oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot, add in the salt and peppered shanks, a few at a time.
Give them a nice browning. When they're done, put them into a roasting pan and hold onto them for a bit.
 Meanwhile, back at the skillet:
Turn the heat down on the pan the shanks had been browning in and stir in:
4 medium sized diced carrots
3 finely chopped onions
2 peeled shallots
Cook down until the onions start to get soft.
This should take just a few minutes.
Add in:
3 cups of a dry red wine. I used some Cab.
Turn the heat up fairly high and scrape up whatever bits might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Boil everything until the wine is boiled down to about 1 cups worth.
 Stir in:
1 cup of chopped canned tomatoes
 Give it a good stir then pour the whole thing over the lamb shanks that are resting in the roasting pan.
 Add in:
2 cups of chicken broth. Make sure the shanks are about 3/4 covered.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and stick it in the oven until the meat is nice and tender and falling off the bone. About 2 hours or so.
When the lamb shanks are done, transfer them to a platter, cover them with foil and keep them warm.
 Stir 1 lb of chopped stemmed kale into the sauce in the braising pan. Keep stirring until it's wilted.
 When the kale has wilted, pour all of the vegetables into a strainer. Set them aside and keep them warm. Pour the sauce into a pan and boil it down until its reduced to about 4 cups or so.
To Serve A Shank
Place a portion of kale on each plate and top each serving of kale with a shank. Pour some of the sauce over the shank, sprinkle a few pomegranate arils over everything.
  I served this dish with Basmati rice with spices and pomegranate at the side.
   So there's the centerpiece of my POM Wonderful dinner. A great warming and great prepare-ahead company dinner, perfect for this time of year.
UPDATE: Exclusive footage of Patsy the Wonder Huskys' Birthday Party.
   Patsys' birthday was December 2nd of course we had to celebrate. In the background is her baby picture.
We didn't have much time to sing "Happy Birthday"
She wanted to be alone with her treat. Don't we all?


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