Beef, Lamb, Pork, Game

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks

From A Soda Bread, A Lamb Shank, and an Irish Toast

Per lamb shank

  • 1  cup of Guinness (I trust you’ll know what to do with any leftovers)
  • 1 lamb shank (1 – 1.25 pounds)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium rib celery, chopped
  • ½ a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • ¼  cup red wine
  • 1-2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 anchovy fillet, chopped
  • ½  a bay leaf
  • 2” sprig of thyme, left whole
  • 1 “  sprig of rosemary, left whole
  • water or stock
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Generously salt and pepper the lamb shank. Brown the shank on all sides. Remove to a plate, turn heat to medium and add the chopped onion, carrots and celery and a pinch of salt to the pan. (Add some more oil to the pan if it is dry.) Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften and brown slightly. Add in the garlic and cook another minute. Add in the tomato paste and anchovy, stir into the vegetables, and cook another minute. Add the red wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add back in the lamb and any accumulated juices, the bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Add in the beer and enough water or broth to come up to the top of the lamb shank but not cover. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about an hour, turning the lamb once or twice. About 10 minutes before the hour is up, turn the oven on to 325°F.  When the lamb is starting to pull away from the bone, remove the cover, baste with the braising liquid and bake, uncovered for 10 minutes. Turn shank and bake another 10 minutes. This will give the lamb a beautiful shellacked finish. Remove lamb to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Put the pan with the braising liquid over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until it is reduced and thickened a bit. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with roasted potatoes and steamed asparagus.

Cozy Lamb Shanks with While Beans and Vermouth

From It Ain’t Pretty But it Sure is Good

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ TBSP olive oil
  • 2 lamb shanks (about 2 lbs total), trimmed of some of the fat
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2-3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2-inch piece of rosemary
  • 3-4 branches of thyme
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans (don’t drain)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 TBSP white balsamic vinegar (you could substitute red)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging

Season the lamb shanks well with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Brown the shanks well on all sides and remove to a plate. Add the onions, carrots and celery and a good pinch of salt and sauté 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add the garlic and herbs and sauté another 1-2 minutes (don’t brown).  Off the heat add the vermouth and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to heat and add tomatoes and stock and nestle the lamb shanks in (the liquid should be about half way up the lamb – add more stock if necessary.) Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 1-½ hours. After 90 minutes, add in the beans and half their liquid. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes.  When done, remove shanks to a board, shred the meat and add back into the stew. Remove the stems from the thyme and rosemary. Light the candles, fill the wine glasses, slice some crusty bread, and devour! Calories: approximately 400 calories per serving.

Paul’s Elk (or Lamb or Pork) Vindaloo Makes 3-4 servings

From Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking:

“The essential ingredients for this Portuguese-inspired Indian dish are wine vinegar and garlic. Additions of mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, and chilies make it specifically colonial Goan. Most recipes for vindaloo involve grinding seeds in vinegar. To save this step, I have used grainy French mustard, which already contains vinegar. It works beautifully. This dish may be made in the pressure cooker (20 minutes of simmering time), or in a frying pan (1 hour or so of simmering.) Either way, once the simmering starts, the cook can read a book, sleep, or have a drink!” (This is Madhur’s suggestion, written in the recipe…I always liked her!)


For 3-4 servings:

  • 1 ½ TBSP grainy mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending upon how hot you like things)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion (about 4 oz.), peeled and cut into fine half rings
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed to a pulp
  • 1-¼ lbs boned shoulder of pork, lamb or elk roast (if you are lucky enough to get it!)
  • 2/3 cup canned coconut milk, well stirred


To make the spice paste: combine the mustard, cumin turmeric, cayenne, salt, and vinegar in a cup. Mix well. **

Put the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the onion. Stir and fry until it is medium brown. Put in garlic. Sir and fry for 30 seconds. Put in the spice paste. Sir and fry for a minute. Put in the meat. Stir and fry for about 3 minutes. Now add the coconut milk and 2/3 cup water if you are going to cook in a pressure cooker, or 1-cup water if you are going to continue to cook in a frying pan. (Transfer to pressure cooker at this point if you are using one.) Cover and either bring up to pressure, or bring to a boil if you are using the frying pan. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes in pressure cooker, or 60-70 minutes in the frying pan.

Serve over basmati rice, or if you are on the river (or want to pretend you are) with flour tortillas or naan bread for sopping up the juices, alongside some cilantro leaves, and your favorite mango chutney.

** My brother makes up a big batch of vindaloo paste, since he is usually making this for a large group of hungry river rats after a day of rapids and rowing. His recipe of 5X Vindaloo Paste is below. What you don’t use for your recipe can be kept in an airtight jar in the fridge, and would be great as a marinade with chicken, shrimp, or even a thick meaty fish like cod or halibut.

*5X Vindaloo Paste:

  • 7 ½ tsp grainy mustard
  • 7 ½ tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp turmeric
  • 5 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp cayenne (he likes his vindaloo on the hotter side, you could use anywhere from 2-4 tsp depending on your tastes)

Steak with ginger butter sauce, for 1

From So, you’re single?

  • One 4-6 oz boneless top blade, sirloin or rib-eye steak (about ¾” thick or less)
  • 1/2 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Take a paper towel and dry the steak on both sides, then lightly salt & pepper both sides of the steak (the soy is salty so go easy.) Add the streak and cook until nicely browned, 1 or 2 minutes. Turn, and brown the second side, another minute or two. Remove the skillet from the heat and the steak to a plate.

When the skillet has cooled enough so that no smoke is rising, return it to medium heat. Add butter, and when it melts, add ginger. About 30 seconds later, add soy sauce and stir to blend. Return steak to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Turn heat to medium, and cook the steaks a total of 3-4 minutes, turning 3 or 4 times. (If pan juices dry out, add a couple of tablespoons of water). At this point, they will be medium-rare; cook a little longer if you like, and serve, with pan juices spooned over. Calories: 450 for 6oz., 300 for 4oz. steak.

For a nice side dish, steam green beans or snow peas until crisp tender. When the steak is ready, remove it from the pan and let it rest a few minutes on your dinner plate. Lower the heat in the pan, add in the veggies, and toss a few times until they are coated. Put the veggies on the plate, and pour the juices over the steak.

I also like to add a simple salad of cut up tomatoes drizzled with a little good olive oil, balsamic and a pinch of salt and pepper, and a piece of crusty bread to sop up the juices. Pour yourself a glass of something red and grapey, and enjoy!

Red-Wine Pot Roast With Porcini  Makes 6 servings

From My Favorite Dinner Guest

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 4-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks with some leaves, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh marjoram, or a 1 tsp dried
  • 3 cups roasted cherry tomatoes (doubled the recipe), or 1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup red wine

Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring broth to simmer in saucepan. Once it’s simmering, turn off the heat, add mushrooms, cover and let stand until soft, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to cutting board. Chop coarsely. Reserve mushrooms and broth separately.

Generously salt and pepper the meat. Heat oil in large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add meat and sear until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer meat to large plate. Pour off all but 1 TBSP drippings from pot, or if you don’t have that much, add more oil to make about 1 TBSP. Place pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, chopped marjoram, and reserved porcini mushrooms; sauté 1 minute. Add roasted tomatoes and their juice to pot. (If you are using canned tomatoes, crush tomatoes one at a time with your hands into pot.) Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Add wine and boil 5 minutes. Then add reserved mushroom broth, leaving any sediment behind. Boil 3 minutes.

Return meat and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Turn meat and continue cooking until tender, about 1 1/2 hours longer. This is a great recipe to make a day ahead. Just cool and put pot a into the fridge. When you are ready, reheat on stove until heated through and proceed to next step.

If you are eating it right away, remove meat to a cutting board and tent with foil. Skim any fat from surface of juices in pot. Bring juices to boil and cook until liquid is reduced to about 4 cups, about 5-7 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Cut roast into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer to platter. Spoon juices over.

Potato Dumplings

I have a confession to make. When I asked my mother for Oma’s dumpling recipe she smiled and said, “Well, Mom would use Panni Potato Dumpling mix.” Shocked? Not really. Oma was no dope, and if they were good, it was fine with her. For you purists out there, there are several good recipes in the internet to make you feel better. Me? I’m sticking with the mix….I wouldn’t want to mess with Oma’s recipe… 😉

The best way to serve these (trust me, I know dumplings) is with buttered breadcrumbs. Melt together about a stick of butter and ¼ cup dry unseasoned breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the dumplings. And as far as leftovers go? A sliced dumpling fried in butter and topped with a fried or poached egg is pure magic!

Calories: POOF – they disappeared! Told ya it was magic…


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