Take the chill out of winter with Nova Scotia Braised Lamb Shank

It’s official. Winter is doing its sub-zero thing that makes you want to hibernate until warmer weather rolls back around. When it’s cold, nothing warms you up like hearty home cooking. The kind of dishes that take you back to when you were a kid and the kitchen would be full of the aromas of Mom or Grandma’s cooking. Simple, delicious goodness that always got the job done. And chances are they used local ingredients. Even in the dead of winter in Nova Scotia, you can still find onions, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips and more that were grown and harvested locally, so there’s always an opportunity to add local to your favourite meal.

And speaking of local comfort food, Chef Bryan Corkery from Oceanstone Seaside Resort in Indian Harbour has created a knockout local recipe – Nova Scotia Braised Lamb Shank.

Like many Nova Scotia chefs, Bryan is a big fan of using fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and an avid supporter of Nova Scotia producers like Getaway Farm. And Getaway Farm is another local success story, committed to the best possible food raised in the best possible way. Getaway not only raises sustainable, 100% grass fed cattle, pigs, lamb and chicken, they process and sell directly to the public through their popular butcher shop in Halifax. It’s a model that more and more small farms are following, and it creates an even stronger connection between consumers and the farmers who raise our food. But if you're not in the Halifax area there are plenty of places to find local lamb including your major retailers, farmers markets, meat markets or butchers across Nova Scotia.

Now back to the recipe. Give it a try. It’s sure to take the edge off any chilly January night. You can find Nova Scotia lamb year-round, and you can also find a few of the other recipe ingredients including locally grown sweet potatoes and garlic this time of year.

Nova Scotia Braised Lamb Shank with Vanilla-Scented Sweet Potato Puree & Roasted Vegetables
Chef Bryan Corkery – Oceanstone Seaside Resort, Indian Harbour NS /p>

Ingredients

4 Lamb Shanks
6 oz Pearl Onions
2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes
1 clove Fresh Garlic
1 sprig Fresh Rosemary
8½ cups Beef or Veal Stock
½ cup All Purpose Flour
4 Sweet Potatoes (large)
1 pod Fresh Vanilla
2 Red Peppers (large)
2 Green Zucchini (large)
Salt & Pepper To Taste

Method for Lamb

  • Season shanks with salt & pepper
  • Dust seasoned shanks with all purpose flour
  • In a heavy-bottom pot, sear shanks in olive oil until browned
  • Crush and chop garlic clove
  • Add pearl onions and chopped garlic to pot
  • Dice tomato
  • Add tomato, rosemary sprig, and beef stock to pot (add additional beef stock or water to just cover shanks)
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover pot, and continue to cook on low heat until shanks are tender. (Approx. 45 mins.)
  • Carefully remove cooked shanks from liquid and set aside
  • Strain cooking liquid and return strained liquid to pot and reduce by half
  • Thicken sauce with cornstarch slurry* to desired thickness (or just continue to reduce liquid to desired thickness)

* To make cornstarch slurry, mix together equal parts cornstarch and water or stock

Method for Sweet Potatoes

  • Arrange sweet potatoes on baking sheet; do not pierce skins of potatoes
  • Roast in oven at 350°F for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are soft
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly; skins should separate from roasted potato
  • Peel skins from potatoes and blend
  • Split vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out seeds
  • Add seeds to sweet potato and continue to blend until smooth

Method for Vegetables

  • Using a melon baller, scoop out globes of zucchini
  • Cut peppers into triangles
  • In a metal bowl, toss vegetables with olive oil, salt & pepper
  • Roast in oven at 350°F until red pepper beginsto take on colour

Keep your eyes open for more delicious local recipes we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks.