December 21, 2015
A rich, dark stout adds an even deeper flavor to braised lamb shanks and the pureed winter root vegetables make this a perfect winter evening dish.
ROOT VEGETABLE PUREE
1Coat the outside of the lamb shanks liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil just begins to smoke, brown the shanks on all sides in batches, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove shanks and set aside.
2Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and drippings. Add the shallots and mushrooms to the pot and cook until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and tomato paste and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stout beer and use a spatula to scrape up all of the brown bits in the bottom of the pot.
3Return the shanks to the pot and pour in the beef stock. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a simmer. Tie the herb sprigs into a bundle with butcher twine and add them to the pot.
4When the liquid comes to a heavy simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 2½ hours, turning the shanks halfway through, or until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Remove the shanks and set aside.
5For the root vegetable puree: add the root vegetables to a large pot of lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Drain the vegetables well and return them to the pot.
6Using an electric beater or immersion blender puree the vegetables until smooth. If desired, mix in 2 tablespoons whole milk or unsalted butter to provide a creamier texture. Add salt and pepper to taste and fold in the chives. Set aside until ready to serve.
7To finish the lamb: Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Turn off the heat and add the 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until melted.
8Serve the shanks over the root vegetable puree and top with a spoonful of sauce.