Thursday, March 1, 2012

3rd Lamb Supper Club: Braised Lamb Shanks with White Beans and Tomatoes

For almost a year now, I've been the DC Lambassador and Supper Club host for the Tri-Lamb Group supper club series.  The Tri-Lamb Group is a collaborative initiative of lamb producer organizations from the U.S., New Zealand and Australia which focuses on educating Americans about lamb.  For the third supper club, I made Braised Lamb Shanks with White Beans and Tomatoes paired with some amazing wines that were recommended by Andrew Stover.
The Dish:  Braised Lamb Shanks with White Beans and Tomatoes
The Pairings:
Campo Viejo Wines
DETOUR is the Oregon wine product from Sommelier Andrew Stover and winemaker Darcy Pendergrass of Amity Vineyards. The goal of the project is to produce quality Oregon wines under$20 retail. The grapes for Detour come from the Croft Vineyard, a certified organic vineyard near Salem, Oregon. Detour Pinot Gris is bright and fresh with notes of Asian pear, grapefruit, lemongrass and apricot, wet stone on the long finish.

SHINDIG Wines are the brainchild of Sommelier Andrew Stover of Washington, DC's OYA, SEI and SAX Restaurants. Stover works with wineries across the country to produce fun and approachable wines for under $20 retail. SHINDIG Red is fresh and lively with red berry flavor nuances. Perfect with a slight chill. Blend of Pinot Noir, Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, De Chaunac, Merlot and Syrah.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards was formed by Eric Glomski (Owner/Director of Winemaking at Page Springs Cellars and previously Winemaker at David Bruce Winery) and Maynard Keenan (Owner of Caduceus Cellars and singer for some po-dunk band called Tool), to put Arizona on the fine wine map. Nachise is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre with bright plum and cherry notes plus dried herbs and slight earthy flavors, very silky finish.

Idaho is a state known for spectacular mountains, rivers and lakes. However, many are unaware that this beautiful area is also a burgeoning wine growing region. The unique combination high elevation, climate and soils found in Idaho's vineyards can produce grapes with outstanding varietal character. Sawtooth Syrah is a dark and brooding red with aromas of plum, cigar box, leather and earth; velvety texture; medium/full bodied.
The Recipe:
Serving Size: Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 - 2 1/2 hours

2 celery ribs, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can diced tomatoes and juice
1/4 cup dry red wine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons herbs de provence
4 lamb shanks
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can white beans (great northern or cannellini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Add the shanks to hot oil and cook, browning each side, about 4 minutes per side (if necessary, cook in batches). Remove shanks to a clean plate and set aside.
Add onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, herbs de Provence, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add broth, tomatoes and beans; bring mixture to a simmer. Nestle browned lamb shanks into broth mixture; cover and cook until meat is tender and easily falls off the bone, about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on size of shanks. Place shanks in individual shallow bowls or plates. Divide vegetables and sauce among bowls.

The results:  a delicious lamb feast to be enjoyed by my supper club guests of friends and fellow foodies including:  Apollina Spoto from Apollinas Jennifer (Bryn) Wallace from Ramaroad Photography, Vanessa from DC on Heels,  Johnna from Johnna Knows Good Food,and Brittany from Three Lockharts.  

We served the lamb with my signature cocktails: Apple OrchardNew York Apple Cocktail, and Blood and Sand.  I made these cocktails with Hudson and Copper Fox whiskey.  Recipes coming soon.

The guests enjoyed a full whiskey tasting.  A full review of the whiskey will be featured in Thinking of Drinking soon.
All of the designer glassware and dishes was provided by Sagaform.

Our supper club guests brought some amazing sides, including: Johnna's Mac 'n Cheese
Brittany's Gratin 
Sarah's Pumpkin Soup, and Vanessa's Tomato and Squash Salad.
Apollina's Mint Chocolate Ganache Cake was beautiful!  (Recipe will be coming soon.)  We paired the cake with my Secret Lovers cocktail featuring Partida tequila and the Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto.

The 3rd Lamb Dinner and Tasting Party was a huge success and we'll be attempting a rack of lamb at the next one.  Stay tuned!
Lamb Nutrition Facts
Calories 560
Fat 25g
Cholesterol 160mg
Sodium 490mg
Total Carbohydrate 30g
Dietary Fiber 7g


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