Friday, October 22, 2010

Lamb shanks and wine tasting

Oh how I love me some lamb.  Bahh ram my stomach!  This past weekend we went up to Napa for some wine tasting and lunch at Bouchon with some friends.  I had the best lamb shank and was inspired to make something similar for Nick and my one year anniversary.  So we found this braised lamb shank recipe online and Nick started it when he got home from work.  We also steamed some broccoli and made mashed potatoes.  Instead of using chicken stock or milk for the mashed potatoes, we used some left over beef stock.  At first we were a little apprehensive about putting in the brown stock, but it was really good and worth the risk.  It gave the potatoes a very meaty flavor that made me think of steak-house mash.  Nick also roasted a whole head of garlic and squeezed it in before mashing.  Oh, they were sooo good.

Nick's Mashed potatoes

3 Idaho potatoes, chunked
1 head garlic, roasted (standard roasted garlic recipe)
2 pats butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c beef broth (or as much as you nee for desired consistency)

Boil potatoes until they are soft.  Squeeze in roasted garlic. Add butter, salt and pepper.   Mash while streaming in beef broth until it reaches desired consistency.

Note:  The beef broth will make your potatoes a little brown in color, but it shouldn't be too brown that it looks unappetizing.

Bouchon's lamb shank ($33 + tip)

Our lamb shank ($30 for two + sides + left overs)

I would have to say it was a great success.  We will be making this for my mom's bday that's coming up in November.  She doesn't like lamb, but we're going to braise her a separate turkey wing since she really likes those.  The rest of us will get lamb though.  I'm going to start the lamb while I'm taking my lunch.  Our lamb was really good, but it could have braised for another hour or two to get to that nice fall-off-the-bone doneness.  We also managed to dig out some of the marrow.  Boy, that stuff is rich.  It's like a heart attack waiting to happen.  

I also wanted to report back on the Cal Shakes play that I went to see with Bonnie and Abby.  It was soooo good.  Bonnie and I are going to get season tickets for next summer's shows (unfortunately Abby's work schedule doesn't allow her the flexibility).  I highly suggest going to check out at least one of their shows.  They pretty much only do Shakespeare plays, but here is a their 2011 Season lineup.  

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