Porcini-Poached Lamb Shanks with Chanterelle-Sausage Crust
This is a great dish to serve on holidays and other fall and winter special occasions. For a quicker weekday meal, skip the sausage wrap and enjoy the lamb shanks on their own with the brussels sprout mash and porcini gravy. Shiitake mushrooms can be used if chanterelles are unavailable.
For the lamb shanks:
- 2 bone-in lamb shanks, about 1 lb. (500 g) each
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) mushroom broth
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 1 can (14 oz./440 g) diced tomatoes
- 1 oz. (30 g) dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the lamb sausage:
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) chanterelle or shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) ground lamb
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 oz./30 g) fresh bread crumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
- 1 Tbs. brandy
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
For the mashed brussels sprouts:
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
- Kosher salt
- 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 1 lb. (500 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 bunch watercress
In a large Dutch oven over medium high-heat, combine the lamb shanks, mushroom broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, dried porcini, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. 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, make the lamb sausage. Place the chanterelles in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the chanterelles to a large bowl and add the ground lamb, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, brandy, cornstarch, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
When the lamb is tender, turn off the heat and transfer the shanks to a platter to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of the Dutch oven until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if necessary.
To encase the shanks in sausage, place two large pieces of parchment paper on a work surface. Divide the lamb sausage evenly between the two pieces of parchment. Press each half of the sausage into a circle about 1/3 inch (9 mm) thick and about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Place one of the cooled lamb shanks in the center of one of the sausage circles with the bone pointed up. Using the parchment paper to help you, wrap the sausage around the lamb shanks, pressing it firmly around the shanks. (Cover only the meat of the lamb shank, not the bone.) Remove the parchment paper once the sausage is in place.
Gently return the shanks to the broth in the Dutch oven, set over low heat, cover and simmer, turning the shanks over halfway through the cooking time if not fully immersed in the liquid, until the sausage is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
White the shanks are simmering, put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add cold salted water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes well in a colander and return the potatoes to the warm saucepan. Mash in 3 Tbs. of the butter, the milk, white pepper and salt to taste. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine the brussels sprouts and 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) 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 potatoes into the brussels sprouts.
To serve, spoon the mashed brussels sprouts into the center of a large serving platter and drizzle some of the broth around them. Using tongs and a spatula, carefully remove the lamb shanks from the pot and place on top of the mashed brussels sprouts. Tuck watercress sprigs under and around each shank. Serve immediately, passing the remaining broth at the table. Serves 6.
Recipe courtesy of Brittany Baldwin, Chef/Owner, Portland Home Chef, Portland, OR