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Braised Lamb Shanks with Chanterelle-Sausage Crust and Mashed Brussels Sprouts

In this recipe from Chef Brittany Baldwin, lamb shanks are first braised in a porcini-infused broth, then coated with a chanterelle-sausage mixture and simmered in the cooking liquid. If you can’t find a mild lamb sausage, use ground lamb instead, and be sure to season it with salt and pepper. 

Ingredients:

For the lamb shanks:

  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 bone-in lamb shanks, each about 12 oz.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 cups mushroom broth
  • 2 cans (each 14 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallots
  • 1 lb. chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed and minced in a food processor
  • 1 1/4 lb. mild lamb sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

For the mashed brussels sprouts:

  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 bunch watercress

Directions:

To prepare the lamb shanks, place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, cover with the boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the lamb shanks with salt and black pepper. Add the shanks to the pot and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth, porcini mushrooms, reserved soaking liquid, tomatoes and lamb shanks. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the shanks are tender but the meat is not falling off the bone, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chanterelle mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is released and then evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the chanterelle mushrooms, sausage, thyme, parsley, egg and bread crumbs. Cover the sausage crust mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the lamb is tender, turn off the heat and transfer the shanks to a platter. Using an immersion blender, puree the broth until smooth.

When the shanks are cool enough to handle, cover each one with a thin layer of the sausage crust mixture. Return the shanks to the broth, set over low heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the shanks over halfway through the cooking time. Turn off the heat and let the shanks rest while preparing the mashed brussels sprouts.

To prepare the mashed brussels sprouts, put the potatoes in a large saucepan, add water to cover by 2 inches and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander and return the potatoes to the saucepan. Mash in 2 Tbs. of the butter, the milk, salt and white pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine the brussels sprouts and the 1/3 cup water. Cover and bring to a simmer, then cook until the water evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the brussels sprouts are tender, about 5 minutes more. Fold the brussels sprouts into the mashed potatoes.

To serve, spoon the mashed brussels sprouts into the center of a large, shallow serving bowl and drizzle some of the broth around them. Using tongs and a fish spatula, carefully remove the lamb shanks from the pot and place on top of the mashed sprouts. Tuck watercress sprigs behind each shank. Serve immediately and pass the remaining broth at the table. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe courtesy of Brittany Baldwin, Chef/Owner, Portland Home Chef, Portland, OR.