Saturday, January 3, 2009

An 11 Day Food Orgy


That's the best way to describe our holidays this year. As soon as I put my Etsy shop to bed for the year, I got busy in the kitchen. Over the last two weeks we have enjoyed roasted pork tenderloin in port wine and prune sauce, split pea and ham soup, rum cake, Thai style tuna tartare with Taro chips, prime rib, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roasted winter vegetables, carnitas tacos, collard greens, hoppin' John, fried chicken, and Greek style braised lamb shanks. Not to mention a very nice, casual dinner out at a great restaurant called Evergreen in Tahoe City. No wonder I feel a little, full.

Other highlights included snowboarding at Lake Tahoe in 2' of fresh snow, x/c skiing with our dog, going to the movies, visiting relatives, shopping, and some surprises (who knew that a portable duck blind would open at the flick of a wrist in our living room on Christmas Eve?).

My mom and I took one afternoon at Lake Tahoe for a peaceful cross country skiing trek through the woods while the boys hit the more hectic downhill slopes. I hope I have her vigor at 75! I give her credit for trying the cross country skis for the first time, even if she decided she preferred the snow shoes. Tahoe XC has a special deal where you can take your dog out with you on the trails at special times, which is a great way for everyone to blow off some steam. Bodie had fun frolicking in the deep snow and playing with the other dogs there. What a gorgeous set of trails they have.

See his trail pass? It looks just like a doggie lift ticket.

Anyway, this lamb shank recipe is just killer, and it's not hard to make, so I thought I'd share it. It's from a 2002 issue of Bon Appetit. Enjoy!

Greek Style Braised Lamb Shanks

3 tablespoons olive oil
6 12- to 14-ounce lamb shanks
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 drained canned anchovies
2 cinnamon sticks
2 small bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
5 juniper berries or 2 tablespoons gin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 750-ml bottle Merlot
1 14-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 14-ounce can low-salt beef broth

Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in large ovenproof pot (wide enough to hold lamb in single layer) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb on all sides with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pot and sauté until brown, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer lamb to plate. Add next 10 ingredients to pot. Sauté until vegetables brown, about 20 minutes. Mix in tomato paste. Add wine and all broth; boil until liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Return lamb to pot, arranging in single layer; add any accumulated juices. Bring to boil.
Place lamb in oven and cook uncovered until tender, basting and turning occasionally, about 2 hours. Transfer lamb to plate. Skim any fat from top of roasting liquid. Press all liquid and enough of vegetables through sieve set over large bowl to make sauce with gravy consistency. Return gravy to pot; add lamb. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.) Rewarm lamb over low heat. Transfer to platter and serve.

Time to get busy in the studio again! Guess I'll have to supplement my glass melting with another more vigorous form of exercise to shed some of my holiday baggage.

Happy New Year everyone!

3 comments:

Jewelbabe said...

Man, after that list of food, I'm feeling full! It really sounds yummy. And your mom is just the cutest thing! Happy New Year!

Patty said...

Same to you, Cyndie! Oh yeah, one major activity I forgot to mention in my post...we watched the entire Season 2 of Dexter!!! Talk about enGROSSing!

Studio Marcy - Marcy Lamberson said...

Happy New Year Patty. What a fun time with your family and I might just have to try that delicious looking recipe.

Marcy

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