Last year to celebrate St. Patrick’s day I successfully attempted home cured corned beef. I wanted to try something totally new for this year. About this last year I was over in Ireland for work. I had some amazing food while I was there and my cooking to-do list grew exponentially. Loads of dishes to recreate. One of my favorite meals during my trip was at an Italian restaurant, it was a homemade wide pasta with red wine lamb ragu. Absolutely delicious and it gave me a new look at I’ve wanted to recreate something similar since I finished my last bite at the restaurant. St. Patrick’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try to change-up the normal corned beef routine. The dish I created isn’t really that similar, but it’s certainly inspired it. Finding lamb shanks my grocery store is where it all started, I was very surprised to see them and the rest just fell into place.
The lamb cooks low and slow in deep flavors lead by Guinness. A bit of red wine wouldn’t hurt either.
- 3 lamb shanks
- sea salt and ground pepper
- olive oil
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 handful of raisins
- 2 T. grape jelly
- 1 T. tomato ketchup
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can Guinness
- 32 oz. beef broth
- 2 t. cider vinegar
- Mint leaves, chopped
- Season lamb shanks with sea salt and ground pepper.
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan with lid.
- Over medium high heat brown lamb on all sides. When almost done add rosemary to pan and crisp in the oil.
- Remove lamb and set aside on a plate. Discard rosemary.
- Heat a bit more oil in the pan.
- Add onions, cover pan and cook onions until caramelized. Stir often.
- Add raisins, jelly, ketchup, Worcestershire and Guinness. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Add lamb back into the pan and cover with beef broth.
- Cover pot, turn heat down and simmer slowly about 3 hours.
- Remove lamb from the pan and set aside. Blend liquid with a blender until smooth. Add back to pan and simmer until reduce further.
- Remove lamb meat from bones and add back into the reduced sauce.
- Serve over Irish cheddar polenta or mashed potatoes.
- Top each serving with 1/2 t. cider vinegar and chopped mint leaves.
My first attempt at polenta. Much easier than I anticipated. I used this polenta recipe, but swapped in a sharp Irish cheddar in place of the cream cheese. The lamb would be just as delicious served over mashed potatoes or colcannon, and some roasted carrots.
The last-minute drizzle of cider vinegar on top really wakes everything up. And of course what is lamb without mint, just like mom served. I was so happy with how this turned out, it was rich and delicious. Such a satisfying meal. The family loved it too, especially the husband. See he does like lamb. Oh and don’t forget dessert, homemade shamrock shakes all-around.
Hope everyone has a great St. Patrick’s Day. We’re heading to the parade, I don’t think I have been to this parade since I was a kid. Should be interesting since the forecast is for a picture perfect summer day.
Éire go Brách! Everyone is a little Irish today.