Here’s an interesting post from Taste magazine: Cooked Oysters for People Who Love Raw Oysters complete with a recipe!
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.
I 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 served 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!
After seeing the photograph and reading about smoked lamb shanks I decided that was what I needed for the Fourth of July. It took some searching but I did finally find some shanks. Unfortunately, they were not as large as those shown in that photograph, but I decided to give it a try with the smaller ones. I also included two goat shanks to see how those tasted smoked. (These were from Two Bridges Farm, Louisburg NC)
I took the basic seasoning from Rufus’s post: lots of rosemary, garlic, some chili powder, some cinnamon, and added a healthy dollop of Colman’s mustard powder, salt, and added enough oil to make a very thick paste–heavy on the rosemary. The shanks were rubbed all over with this, and then allowed to stand (refrigerated) for about 18 hours (overnight until ready to start the smoking process).
The Weber kettle grill was set up with a pan in the middle with water in it; then added hardwood charcoal briquettes (unlit on both sides of the pan. These were topped with lit briquettes, and the soaked hickory wood chunks. Vents were adjusted for a nice slow fire. I opted not to use a mop sauce this time–may well try that on the next round! But soon there were wonderful smells wafting from the grill–smoke, rosemary and lamb.
In an effort to keep the day as simple as possible (read to avoid dish washing, either by guests or me) there were disposable plates. Although I really did have a platter set out on which to serve the shanks, they never made it into a serving dish since we were being so casual; hence, picture of shanks in the pan that was used to bring them from the grill. The results were fantastic. (The goat shanks are the two in the front of the pan–the rest are lamb). The seasoning was there, but not intrusive but complementing the meat– the hot mustard added some “spice” and “zing” without ever seeming “hot”.
Mojitos started us off; then we had a very eclectic meal–one of the guests prepared Padrón peppers for starters–I’d never tasted them before, but I certainly hope that it will not be the last time. Those were followed by wonderful gazpacho, then by crab cakes, with some melon interspersed. Then, the main course: lamb shanks, corn on the cob, and several kinds of newly dug potatoes steamed and then tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and peppers. There were Purple Majesty, Red Thumb, and Russian banana potatoes mixed. (Unfortunately, the Red Thumbs lost their pink color during the steaming, but there were the lovely red skins to make it red, white(ish), and blue!)
For those of us who wanted wine with the meal, we had a 2008 Marcillac Rouge “Lo Sang del Pais” (Domaine du Cros)…this was not the wine that I had bought to serve. My mistake–it was a bottle from my cellar that I considered before I decided to go visit the Wine Authorities. They suggested 2008 Rouge “Cuvee Jericho” Vin de Pays (Mas Montel (Mas Granier), France, that I bought. When I was setting up the serving area, I put out the Marcillac (my original intention) instead of the Jericho (80% Syrah and 20% Grenache)! The Marcillac was awesome with the lamb shanks–it’s 100% from Mansois (Fer Servadou) grape. So I still have a bottle of the Jericho (and some “leftover” lamb shanks–that may well be supper this evening.
This is something I’ll do again, soon…the smoke flavor was not overwhelming, but very complementary to both the lamb and the goat and it was low-maintenance cooking, thought it took about 3-1/2 hours, that let me visit and relax while preparing it. Perhaps the next thing to get smoked will be a goat leg. The vendors from whom the goat shanks were purchased said that they had recently tried smoking a leg and it was excellent. I’m glad that I discovered the post on smoking lamb shanks–and the associated information on smoking.
If there are “leftovers” after this evening, I think that those might end up in something with white beans for sort of a mini-cassoulet (for a hot dish) or maybe even a white bean salad–we’ll see what evolves.
I think there’s more smoking in my future–and I’ll be learning to make the gazpacho that we had with this meal too!