I love lamb. It’s not an everyday food for us, so maybe that’s why I like it so much – it always feels like a celebration. Especially lamb shanks. Although lamb does grace our presence every so often, it’s usually in the form of stew or sausage. The tiny little chops, while delicious, aren’t usually my thing. Too much work, too little time.
My kids like lamb too, although I’ve always been cautious around the subject of what they’re actually eating. “What’s this?” is usually answered with a look in the other direction and the short but factual “lamb-it’s-like-beef”.
God forbid they actually mull the concept over in their minds. I’m nervous that I’ll turn around one day and my daughter is going to shriek “AS IN MARY’S LITTLE LAMB?!!!”. But for some reason the connection hasn’t been made….that is, until some kid in her class, probably the same one who’s discovered the truth about Santa Claus, is going to blurt out that yes, it’s actually Mary’s little lamb that your mother has been feeding you all these years. Thank you in advance little one.
But back to that special occasion lamb. This weekend, I’m cooking for my brothers who are both in town for some well-needed time with their nieces and nephew. I want a crowd-pleaser, one that will make the house smell like heaven, and is low maintenance to prepare. I want to hang out when they’re here, not be trapped behind my stove. Searing the shanks and letting them roast for hours on end tends to be my favorite preparation. It’s flavorful, foolproof, and gives me tons of flex time in case anyone is running late. I can just turn the oven down low and let the lamb hang out until their presence is needed.
Instead of my usual polenta, I fell in love with some beautiful springy green leeks that I spotted at the grocery store. Next to stuffing on Thanksgiving, there is almost no better cooking smell than leeks and butter getting to know each other. Sautéing them low and slow made them extra creamy, which combined with soft white beans, made the ultimate bed for the lamb.0 comments