Monday, December 4, 2017: Dinner No. 101: Braised Lamb Shanks and Apple Tart
December 6th, 2017 by Katekoster

Tonight since it was December (and getting colder), we wanted to make one of our favorite winter dishes: Braised Lamb Shanks.  We make this in a slow cooker, letting it cook overnight and then we let it sit in the fridge during the day so we can easily skim the fat before we reheat it and serve it with couscous.  We also made a butter lettuce salad with goat cheese, walnuts and cranberries.  And then, because I (Max) finished up my homework early I made apple tarts and assorted cinnamon pastries.

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The ingredients for the braised lamb are straightforward: 6 lamb shanks; chopped onion, carrots and garlic;  chicken broth and red wine; a can of chopped tomates and some tomato paste;and some chopped thyme and a bay leaf. First you brown the lamb shanks in olive oil and then put them in the slow cooker. Then you sautee the onion, carrots and garlic, add redwine and chicken broth and let cook a bit–and then add that to the slow cooker. Then you add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped thyme and bay leave and let cook for 8 hours on low (preferably overnight).  When you wake up the house will smell delicious (if you like the smell of lamb), and the lamb will be falling off the bone.  You can skim some fat of now but the easiest way is to refrigerate it and then remove the solidified fat.  Reheat and serve with couscous.

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Look at the difference between when we started cooking the lamb shanks (first photo below) and how they cooked down (second photo). Aand the last photo shows all the orange colored fat you remove after you have refrigerated)

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Here’s the final meal before plating:


For the apple tart and cinnamon pastries, first I peeled and sliced 2 gala apples. Then I rolled out a sheet of (store bought) frozen puff pastry that I had let thaw in the fridge for a couple of hours.  I cut 4 squares to make apple tarts and then put the rest of the pastry back in the fridge to keep cool.  I mixed the sliced apples with a little cinnamon sugar and then layered them in each square, folding in the edges a little. Then I brushed the exposed pastry with egg wash.  I put them in the oven to bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

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Meanwhile I took the remaining pastry out of the fridge. I cut half into long strips that I brused with egg wash, dipped in cinnamon sugar and then twisted as I laid them down on another baking sheet.  These were my cinnamon twists.  With the remaining rectangle, I brushed one side lightly with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and rolled up.  Then I sliced them into mini cinnamon roll pastries.  Both went into the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.




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