Mad Men Monday - Lamb Osso Buco & Sidecars

::Have you entered to win 2 tickets to the Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party yet? You have until Tuesday at 6PM to get your entries in! Good luck::

Happy Monday dolls! Hope you all had a splendid weekend. How are you liking season 6 so far? It is a bit of a departure from last season and there are already many story lines unfolding which leads me to believe this season will be very interesting.

This past week we celebrated with my personal favorite - the Sidecar. This will always be my first pick at Cleveland's Velvet Tango Room (which hands-down, makes THE best Sidecar I've ever had, and I've travelled a lot). For as easy as it is to make one, I'm quite surprised by how many not-so-great one's I've had in my life. It's all in the balance.

what you'll need

1 1/2 oz VSOP Cognac
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (depending on taste)

Fill half of a shaker with ice. Add cognac, cointreau and lemon juice. Shake for about 15-20 seconds and double strain into a champagne saucer.

A good rule of thumb is 3/2/1. 3 parts Cognac, 2 parts Cointreau and 1 part lemon juice. I mix it up and sometimes use Grand Mariner instead of Cointreau. The Grand Mariner lends a sweeter and richer flavor as opposed to Cointreau which has a more crisp and fresh finish. When using Grand Mariner I'll usually add a bit more lemon juice to temper the sweetness.

sidecar perfection

On to dinner. I was looking to make a traditional osso buco but veal shanks were a bit stubborn to come by this time of year. My schedule didn't permit me to hit up the West Side Market and my trips to Heinen's and EathFare left me empty handed. The lamb shanks I found were gorgeous and so I settled on Osso Buco-styled lamb. Not traditional but, whoa! This was a fantastic choice.

The Menu:
Osso Buco style Lamb Shanks
Shallot Risotto
Wilted Spinach & Arugula
I kept the risotto a mild, simple flavor since the sauce from the lamb is intense with flavor. The garlicky, peppery spinach/arugula mix is a wonderful compliment to the rich flavors in this dish.

Osso Buco style Lamb Shanks (without sauce) 

Osso Buco style Lamb Shanks (with sauce)

(these recipes serve 4)

Lamb Shanks
What You'll Need:
4 lamb shanks (no need to trim, the excess fat will fall right off the bone while cooking)
salt, pepper
flour (for dredging)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 minced garlic clove
1 cup dry red wine
1 carton chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
Gremolata for garnish (see recipe below)

To Make:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven over med heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in flour.
Brown lamb, in batches, 2 mins per side over med-high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add onion, carrot and celery to same pan and saute 6 mins. Add garlic, thyme leaves and tomato paste. Stir and cook 1 min. Add 1 cup red wine and cook until absorbed by half. Add lamb back to pot. Add chicken stock until lamb in covered two-thirds of the way up. 
Place pot in oven and braise, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning lamb every 30 mins. Add more stock as you go to keep the lamb covered two-thirds of the way.
When done, remove shanks from pot, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10 mins. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and set aside. Strain fat from remaining liquid and heat in a small pot on stove over low heat until slightly thickened. (about 5 mins)
Serve lamb shanks with sauce and a spoonful of vegetables. 
Sprinkle lamb with gremolata.
Gremolata: Mix three tablespoons chopped parsley with the zest of one lemon

Shallot Risotto
What You'll Need:
1 large shallot (or 2 small ones), diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup white wine
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

To Make:
The last half hour the lamb is in the oven is the perfect time to start the risotto. Place stock in a pot and heat until warm (do not boil). 
Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over med-high heat in a high sided saute pan. Saute shallot for 2-3 mins. Add rice to pan ensuring it's well coated with butter/olive oil. Toast rice 2 mins.
Add 1/2 cup wine and cook until completely absorbed. 
Begin adding the stock, 1 ladle at a time. Stir consistently until almost completely absorbed before adding another ladle of stock. Do this for about 18 mins. I usually start testing for doneness after about 15 mins. When the rice has a porridge-like consistency yet still a bit al dente, remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and season as needed. 

Wilted Spinach & Arugula
What You'll Need:
2 bags spinach/arugula mix (in the bagged lettuce section)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon herb seasoning (I use this one from Williams-Sonoma)
1 tablespoon olive oil

To Make:
Heat olive oil over med-high heat in a metal saute pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 min. Add spinach and arugula turning with metal tongs. As soon as it begins to wilt and reduce, add more until both bags are in the pan. Turn off heat. Sprinkle seasoning and continue to turn until all leaves are slightly wilted.


Anonymous said...

That meal looks incredible, and I love those champagne saucer glasses!

Jen @ Why CLE? said...

So, I just watch Mad Men from the DVR in bed. Clearly I am living life the wrong way.

Anonymous said...

i love rack of lamb but, i wouldn't mind trying this

Rachael said...

Damn, that looks delicious!

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