It’s an official Bijouxs: 2010 was designated the year of the lamb shank- that based on the votes received from the Bijouxs recipe testing and support groups. Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic Confit has been selected as the easy, French make-ahead entrée perfect for a cozy fall gathering, another recipe to sample for your fall and holiday entertaining – trés Bijouxs.
As significant, and possibly complicated as the name may sound, Souvis d’Angeau Braisée, Braised Lamb Shanks is an easy one-pan treasure (again, pull out your Dutch oven). This recipe from Patricia Wells Paris Cookbook (a great book to own) is one I have been making for years with stellar reviews – and it is French made simple. The lamb shanks are first dusted with fragrant Quatre épices, literally a “four spices” blend, seared in the oven, the pan is deglazed with wine, then chicken stock is added; just cover the pan and let the oven do the work.
While the lamb shanks braise, without a bit of your attention, you are free to create the garlic confit –whole unpeeled garlic cloves are slowly stewed in olive oil.
Upon removing the pan the oven you will open the lid to find the shanks are a beautiful deep mahogany color, the meat is fall-off-the bone tender, and a rich sauce has been created – with no attendance from the chef.
Benefits of this recipe, besides the fabulous taste and ease, are that the recipe is budget friendly (lamb shanks are about $6.00 per pound), and you can make the dish ahead (gently reheat in the oven prior to serving). As a note, I have made the recipe using the Banyuls wine, but for taste testing with my Bijouxs test group I chose a simple cooking Port (available in the supermarket) and ready-made chicken stock, achieving delicious results.
I serve the lamb shanks on a pillow of celery root puree (just make as you would mashed potatoes), a wonderful bed to rest the shanks and to absorb the rich pan sauce. To plate this fall dining Bijouxs, I place a lamb shank atop the puree, either the celery root or potato, add a small ladle of the pan sauce and pass the garlic confit at the table. Sourdough bread (oh, the garlic confit spread on bread!), a simple green salad and perhaps a bottle of Gigondas wine will complete this cozy fall meal: a Bijouxs to remember.