Slowly braised joint of lamb with the woodsy forest flower flavor of chanterelle mushrooms is a perfect entree for a chilly day. Orzo pasta is a nice traditional accompaniment for lamb.
In europe, joint of lamb is sold as a joint of lamb. In America, joint of lamb is usually sold as just another lamb shank. Joint of lamb is the knee joint of the hind leg. It takes more braising time for a joint of lamb to become tender, than it does for a standard lamb shank. The slow braising is done at a lower temperature and the joint of lamb must be turned in the braising liquid occasionally.
The orzo pasta should be cooked when the joint of lamb finally starts to become tender.
Braised Joint of Lamb and Chanterelles:
Try to select a meaty joint of lamb for this recipe. Good butcher shops do separate joints of lamb from the lamb shanks.
Fresh chanterelles are nice in autumn, but during the cold winter months only dried chanterelles are available.
Soak 1 small handful of dried chanterelle mushrooms in water overnight in refrigerator.
Pour the chanterelle soaking liquid through a fine mesh strainer.
Set the reconstituted chanterelles and the soaking liquid aside.
Trim the silver floss, outer tendons and excess fat off of the outside of 1 meaty joint of lamb.
Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
Add 1 tiny splash of blended olive oil.
Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
Sear the joint of lamb on all sides, till it becomes thoroughly browned.
Add 1 whole garlic clove.
Add 1 whole shallot.
Add the soaked reconstituted chanterelle mushrooms.
Add the strained chanterelle soaking liquid.
Add just enough beef or lamb stock to almost cover the joint of lamb.
Add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree.
Add a bouquet garni sachet of thyme, rosemary and sage.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid.
Place the pot in a 300 degree oven.
Flip the joint of lamb about once every 30 minutes.
Slowly braise the joint of lamb, till it becomes tender. This takes about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Tomato Herb Orzo Recipe:
Boil 4 cups of water in a sauce pot over high heat.
Add 1 portion of orzo pasta.
Cook the orzo pasta, till it becomes al dente.
Drain the water off of the pasta.
Return the pan and pasta to a medium low heat.
Add 1 splash of virgin olive oil.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 3 to 4 ounces of tomato puree.
Add 1 pinch each of:
Stir and simmer, till the tomato puree and herbs cling to the orzo.
Keep the tomato herb orzo warm on a stove top.
Braised Joint of Lamb and Chanterelles with Tomato Herb Orzo:
Remove the joint of lamb from the braising pot.
Keep the joint of lamb warm on a stove top.
Remove the bouquet garni sachet, shallot and garlic clove and discard them.
Place the braising pot over medium heat.
Add 2 1/2 ounces of brandy to the braising liquid.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin glace reduction sauce.
Remove the sauce from the heat.
Add 1 pat of butter to the sauce, while stirring.
Use a ring mold to place the tomato herb orzo on the plate.
Place the joint of lamb on the plate.
Place the chanterelle mushrooms around the joint of lamb.
Spoon the glace sauce over the joint of lamb and onto the plate.
Serve with a simple vegetable, like sweated zucchini slices.
Garnish with a few watercress sprigs.
Simple, elegant and delicious! Joint of lamb is actually a petite portion, if you consider that most of a joint of lamb is cartilage and bone. Slow braising is an easy to learn classic French cooking method that is effective for making tough cuts of meat tender! Yum! ... Shawna