Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grecian Lamb Shank, Eggplant and Orzo








     The eggplant and lamb are braised in the same pan with the sauce.  The tomato and beef broth sauce is highly seasoned with classic Greek herbs and spices.  Orzo pasta is a great accompaniment for lamb.  
     
     Orzo: 
     Cook 1 portion of orzo pasta in boiling water ahead of time.  Cool the orzo under cold running water.  Drain the water off of the pasta.  Sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on the pasta, while tossing, to keep the orzo from sticking together.  Set the orzo aside.
   
     Grecian Lamb Shank and Eggplant:
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add 1 lamb shank.
     Sear the lamb shank, till it becomes thoroughly browned. 
     Add 1 long Chinese eggplant that is sliced in half lengthwise.  (Place the eggplant halves skin side up in the pan so the insides sear first.)  
     Add 4 cloves of coarsely chopped garlic.  
     Add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped red bell pepper.  
     After 4 minutes, flip the eggplant, so the skin side is down against the pan.  
     Stir the vegetables and garlic as they saute in the pan occasionally, till they start to brown.
     Remove the eggplant halves and set them aside, till later in the recipe.  
     Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine.  
     Add 1/2 cup of imported canned Italian crushed plum tomatoes.  
     Add 5 pitted black olives that are cut in half.  
     Add enough beef broth to cover the bottom third of the lamb shank.  (About 2 cups)  
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 3 pinches of paprika.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of whole fennel seed.
     Add 1 pinch of cumin.
     Add 1 pinch of cinnamon. 
     Add 1 small pinch of cardamom. 
     Place the pan uncovered in a 300 degree oven.  
     Baste the lamb shank and turn the lamb shank in the sauce occasionally.
     Add beef broth if the volume of the liquids reduces by more than half.  
     When the lamb shank is fully cooked and it starts to become tender, remove the pan from the oven.
     Return the eggplant halves to the pan.
     Place the pan over medium low/low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce the braising sauce, till it becomes a medium thin sauce consistency.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to finish the sauce.
     Turn the lamb shank in the sauce occasionally as it simmers. 

     Grecian Lamb Shank, Eggplant and Orzo:  
     Place the eggplant halves on a plate.  
     Place the lamb shank and half of the sauce and vegetables aside in a separate bowl and kepp it warm on a stove top.
     Leave about half of the sauce and vegetables in the hot pan.    
     Add the reserved portion of orzo pasta to the sauce that remains in the pan. 
     Stir till the orzo is coated with sauce and the orzo is reheated.  
     Spoon the sauced orzo pasta onto the plate beside the eggplant halves.  
     Place the lamb shank upright on the orzo pasta.  
     Spoon the reserved sauce and vegetables over the lamb shank.  
     
     This aroma Grecian lamb shank will draw nice comments at the table! 

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