Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grecian Lamb Shank, Eggplant and Orzo

The beautiful aroma of this lamb recipe is awesome!  
     The eggplant and lamb are braised in the same pan with the sauce.  The tomato and beef broth sauce is well seasoned with classic Greek herbs and spices.  Orzo pasta is a great accompaniment for lamb.  
     Recipe: Sear a lamb shank with a small splash of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.
     Sear the meat till the lamb turns a light caramelized brown color.  
     Add a long Chinese eggplant that is sliced in half lengthwise.  (Place the eggplant halves skin side up in the pan so the insides sear first.)  
     Add 4 cloves of chopped garlic.  
     Add a few large chopped pieces of onion and red bell pepper.  
     Flip the eggplant so the skin side is down against the pan.  
     Stir the vegetables and garlic till they start to brown.  
     Add a splash of dry white wine.  
     Add about 4 ounces of imported Italian crushed plum tomatoes.  
     Add a few black olive halves.  
     Add some beef broth.  (Add enough broth to cover the bottom third of the lamb shank.)  
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a couple pinches of paprika.
     Add a couple pinches of oregano.
     Add a few pinches of whole fennel seed.
     Add a pinch of cumin.
     Add a generous pinch of cinnamon.  
     Place the pan uncovered in a 350 degree oven.  
     Baste the lamb shank and turn it in the sauce occasionally.  (Leave the eggplant halves to cook undisturbed.)  
     When the egg plant is braised soft and the lamb shank is fully cooked, remove the pan from the oven.  
     Assembly:  Set the eggplant halves on a plate.  
     Remove the lamb, vegetables and half of the sauce from the hot pan and set them aside in a bowl till the orzo pasta is sauced.  Leave about half of the sauce in the hot pan.    
     Add some al dent cooked orzo pasta to the sauce that remains in the pan. 
     Stir till the orzo is coated with sauce.  
     Spoon the orzo pasta and sauce onto the plate with the eggplant halves.  
     Set the lamb shank upright on the orzo pasta.  
     Spoon the reserved sauce, olives, onions and peppers over the lamb shank.  
     This great tasting recipe's aroma will draw nice comments at the table!  The flavors are old world Greek.  Braised eggplant is soft and full of flavor.  The lamb shank becomes tender when braised.  The hint of cinnamon is the spice that sets this dish on a new level of flavor.  Delicious!  ...  Shawna

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