Looking for something a little different to elevate your holiday dinner this year? Our partners at Sanpellegrino® connected us with Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson, Executive Chef of Harlem’s own Minton’s and The Cecil, New York City’s first Afro-Asian-American restaurant. Chef JJ shared a deliciously rich lamb recipe (try it out using our 100% grass-fed local lamb), perfect for pairing with a glass of Sanpellegrino® sparkling natural mineral water (find out why after the jump!).
Photo credit: Lindsay Talley
Lamb Shank Ingredients
6 pieces lamb shank (approx. 1.25 lbs)
8 quarts chicken stock
3 quarts water
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 whole oranges
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch parsley
1 whole jalapeno with seeds
1 bottle red cooking wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato Okra Gravy for Topping
2 sticks unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup garlic, chopped
6 large Spanish onions, diced
2 heads celery
8 red peppers, diced
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 bunch fresh sage, chopped
1/4 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
1 pint dry sherry
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 piece nutmeg
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 quart chopped okra (if using pickled okra, rinse it off before using)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Lamb Shank Directions:
1. Sear lamb on all sides to get a deep color and deglaze with your red wine in large pot.
2. With the stock and the remaining ingredients create the braising liquid, then add to your braising pan. Cover braising pan with plastic wrap and a double layer of aluminum foil to keep all the moisture in.
3. Braise in oven for 3 hours at 375° F or until the meat is tender and is able to be pulled easily from the bone.
Making the Gravy:
1. In large pot or tilt skillet add butter, oil, and flour. Cook down for 4-5 minutes.
2. Add chopped veggies (garlic, onion, red peppers, celery), spices and herbs (thyme, sage, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, pepper) and continue to cook until you can smell the spices toasting. Then add tomato paste and let simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add all of your liquid ingredients (Worcestershire sauce, sherry, and tomato paste).
4. Whisk so that there are no lumps of flour and let mixture cook for 15-20 minutes. Salt and pepper again to adjust seasoning.
5. Top your lamb shank and serve. Enjoy!
JJ’s tender lamb shank makes for a decadent dinner, so make sure to cut the richness with Sanpellegrino®, which is best paired with rich food due to its carbonation. The bubbles and minerals help cut through the oily texture and carry it off the tongue, cleansing your palate for the next bite and for full enjoyment.
Award-winning chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson has worked in some of New York’s best kitchens, earning him a James Beard nomination for Rising Star Chef as well as being named “30 Under 30” by both Forbes and Zagat’s. Growing up cooking with his Puerto Rican grandmother, Chef JJ is always searching for new flavors, which led him to cooking at a leading boutique hotel in Ghana to study West African cuisine and the country’s exotic markets.
Shopping beverages this holiday season? Make the season sparkling here.