Blood Orange Lamb

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While we like a lot of the same dishes and flavors, Selim and I approach cooking in completely different ways. He likes to combine flavors and add a pinch of this and a dash of that, until he ends up with a delicious end result. Frequently (and unfortunately) this doesn’t lend itself to sharing on our blog, because by the time he reaches his final dish, he’s forgotten or can’t figure out exactly the amount of different ingredients that he’s used. Now me on the other hand, I’m way less creative. I like to find intriguing recipes and use them as a guide, makes tweaks here and there for our personal tastes. But tonight I pulled a Selim! I completely winged it for this dish and am pretty proud of myself. I think next time I would do do it with a lamb shoulder instead to have a little less fat.

In terms of flavor, the meat, carrots, and broth have a very meaty flavor, but the blood orange “gremichurri” as we called it (halfway between a gremolata and a chimichurri) really is the fun and bright flavor counterpoint here! It’s a great option for winter – heavy, hearty meat dish to stick to your bones and warm you up, topped with some brightness of winter citrus.

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Blood Orange Lamb

Ingredients: 
  • 2 tsp neutral oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 4 cups beef (or lamb if you so happened to have it!) stock
  • ~20 baby carrots
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 blood orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions: 
  1. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Season the lamb shanks liberally with salt & pepper. Sear on all sides for just a minute or two (may have to do in batches). Then remove the lamb to the side.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Follow with 6 cloveds of minced garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the bay leaves and all of the spices and bring the liquid to a simmer.
  4. Return the lamb to the pot. Pour in the beef stock and the carrot. Nestle everything under the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  5. Lower back to a light simmer and cover. Braise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, chop up the the leaves and tender stems of the parsley. Combine this in a small bowl with the remaining clove of minced garlic , the zest and juice of the blood orange, and the olive oil to taste.
  7. At this point, the meat should be very tender and falling off the bones. Remove the lamb and carrots to the side. Increase heat to a vigorous simmer to reduce the liquid by half. Pull the meat off the bones and shred into bite-sized pieces.
  8. Serve over rice or couscous, topping the starch with lamb, carrots, and then the reduced sauce.
Serves 4

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