Saturday, May 8, 2010

Alley Oop's Dinner

I found some lamb shanks in the freezer the other day and, needing to make room for more recent acquisitions, decided to braise them in my Staub dutch oven despite the weather which was more like summer than winter for a change.

I browned them thoroughly in hot olive oil, then set them aside while I also quickly browned the two onions and the four split cloves of garlic I was putting in with them. I rubbed the meat with a thin coating of allspice and added some lavender buds before returning the shanks to the pot and almost covering them with chicken stock. I should perhaps have used beef stock but I thought to lighten them a little given the weather, so decided on chicken. They braised on top of the stove on a very slow burner for about five or six hours; needless to say, they were very tender.

Plated with some of the relaxed onions, fresh peas and some herbed toasts, I had to laugh - they truly look like Alley Oop's dinner. What other meal gives you a big old bone that stretches from one side to the other of a standard-size dinner plate? One is tempted to play caveman - to pick it up and simply gnaw, then throw the bone over one's shoulder to the hovering dog. That we didn't do any such thing was a big disappointment to Cora. She did get to lick the plates afterwards, a small consolation.

Once again, the goozle was spectacular. I drizzled a bit over the shanks and put the rest into the fridge for defatting the next day. It jelled and I had to reheat it a bit after taking off the very thin fat layer in order to strain out the solids and freeze it. That goozle is going to make the best future soup ever tasted by man - or caveman.



Blogger Kailyn said...

I must admit that whenever I buy shanks, I have the butcher cut them in half. I can't imagine eating a whole one in a single meal.

Saturday, May 08, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, I have to admit I usually use about half to make lamb curry the next day...

Saturday, May 08, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Jinx! We had lamb shanks for dinner last night too! At a friend's house, a friend who also has naif plates!

Saturday, May 08, 2010  
Blogger Louis la Vache said...

hee hee
We are dating ourselves when we know who Alley Oop is! The shanks look delicious and it was fun to think about Alley Oop again!

Sunday, May 09, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, wow, now that's a serious coincidence!

Louis, I remember Alley Oop from reading the funnies as a kid. I still relish them, but Alley Oop is no longer in the lineup.

Sunday, May 09, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

My first thought is "it's worth it for the goozle alone." But my second thought is Shepherd's Pie!
I am so grateful to you for the word "goozle."

Sunday, May 09, 2010  

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