Braised Lamb Shank Pasta
Executive Chef/Owner Adam Sappington
The Country Cat
Pasta meals served in a bowl go back way before the current grain bowl craze caught on. At Country Cat in Portland, Ore., chef Sappington uses spaghetti as a bed for tender braised lamb and grilled broccolini, topping it with a crispy poached egg. The chef, also a self-taught butcher, buys his lamb from local producers in Oregon.
4 lamb shanks, 2½ to 5 lb.
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 rosemary stems, chopped
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 ½ cups red wine
1 qt. chicken stock
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup roasted garlic cloves
½ cup grilled broccolini, cut into 1-in. pieces
¾ lb. spaghetti, cooked
6 eggs, poached
½ cup homemade garlic bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
- Liberally salt the lamb shanks and set aside. In small bowl, combine onion, fennel, garlic and rosemary. In separate large bowl, place half the mixture; lay shanks on top and pack remaining mixture over meat. Refrigerate, uncovered, 24 hours.
- In a heavy-bottomed ovenproof stockpot or large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Remove marinade mixture from lamb; set aside. Add lamb to the stockpot; brown the meat on all sides.
- Remove meat from pot and add reserved marinade mixture. Over medium to high heat, caramelize the vegetables. Deglaze the pan with the wine; cook until reduced by half. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Put shanks back into pot and cover tightly.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Place stockpot in oven; cook 2 1/2 hours or until fork tender. With a fork, peel the meat from the bone and place in a nonreactive bowl. Strain braising liquid and set aside.
- In large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil; bring to a wavy stage. Once oil is ready, add roasted garlic and broccolini; toss to incorporate and heat thoroughly, about 3 minutes.
- Add cooked spaghetti; continue to toss in the pan. Gradually add 1/4 cup of braising liquid; continue to saute, thoroughly coating the spaghetti, garlic and broccolini. Add remaining sauce along with lamb to the pan; cook 3 more minutes.
- In small mixing bowl, roll poached eggs in bread crumbs to coat thoroughly; set aside.
- Add parmesan and parsley to the pasta mixture; toss together.
- To serve, with tongs, divide lamb and pasta into 6 warm bowls. Add crispy poached egg to center of pasta; serve immediately.
Photo courtesy of American Lamb Board