When I did the smoked lamb and goat shanks for the Fourth of July I deliberately added some extras, even after I had allowed for the appetites of my guests.  What was left after our dinner was not “leftover” but was planned (even though I had nothing specific in mind just then) as future food since I thought that these would lend themselves well to improvisation.

I sliced some of the meat very thinly from the cold shanks and used it in a salad.  The goat meat was especially good here, but the lamb made a nice salad addition too.  There was still enough for one all-meat meal, or two meals if supplemented with a grain or beans.

Lamb and beans heating in skilletI had envisioned using the rest of the meat with some cannellini beans  to make a kind of mini-cassoulet that would be topped with bread crumbs and baked briefly to meld the just-added seasonings. That was just not on the program!  It’s been so hot lately that I just did not want to have the oven on even with the air conditioning running, so I opted for a “skillet” meal.

My first step was to sauté some chopped onion (1 medium) until soft and starting to brown, then add  garlic (2 large cloves, minced).  Next I added the chopped meat from the lamb and goat shanks.  I had enough for two servings–and I decided to use it all in this concoction as I though I would like two meals from this as it would only improve with reheating. I added about 1 teaspoon of herbs de Provence(seemed rather cassoulet-like) and a healthy dash of crushed red chili peppers for some spice, and about 2 tablespoons of water.  Finally I drained, rinsed and added one can of cannellini (white) beans to the skillet, which I covered and allowed warm over low heat to hydrate the herbs de Provence and the pepper flakes.

Without further ado it was time to eat. With the last of the bottle of wine that was Lamb with white beans and sliced tomatoesserved with the original meal  it was a very satisfying, and easy, meal. There will be one more serving (and that’s not a “leftover” either–maybe that will make it into the baking dish with the bread crumbs and some rosemary added. This could adapt well to any extra pork, beef or chicken that happened to be hanging about the fridge as a leftover.  All this needed was a salad to complete the  meal.  Dessert was just some fresh fruit.

18 July 2011

Just a quick update here.  I’m glad I made two serving of this.  The improvement on re-heating was fantastic.  The smokey flavor came out more–next time I do something like this, I’ll plan to make it one day and reheat it later.  I’d love to try this with goat!

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