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1st Snow Lamb Shanks ! one of my favorite cooks

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We had predictions of snow today and tomorrow all weekend, but when we woke up it sure did not look like it. We even drove down the hill into town for breakfast. Just some grey Skys. During breakfast the grey sky produced  light snow which by the end of breakfast started sticking to the roads. We had to run some errands and drove off happily in the 4WD Ram. The snow got a bit heavier, nothing like you folks experience in the Midwest, East, and Canada. But for a high desert town it started looking like a good snow. Folks in 2WD vehicles started sliding off the road and having trouble getting up hills. We actually had to drive out of town probably 20 extra miles just to get around traffic jams. Luckily there was a market on our route and I picked up probably the last 3 holiday lamb shanks available in Prescott. Today I am cooking  Braised Lamb Shanks and white beans with plenty of garlic, herbs, a little white wine, some onions, carrots, and celery. I always try to commemorate the first snow with some kind of comfort food and this dish truly fits the bill, I have to use canned beans because I did not think of this soon enough to soak dried one, but it will still be amazing. 

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 If you interested, stick around, this should be fun. Favorite cooks don't have to be hard and this one uses my Egg like a traditional oven more than a grill.

Back with more as the day progresses. 

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Lamb shanks are the cut between the knee and the hoof. In cooking terms they are a bit like a brisket or a pork butt, in that they are all muscle and get a lot of work when the lamb walks and runs. As such, they need a long cook to make them amazingly tender. They are truly my favorite lamb cut because of the flavor they deliver. A long braise of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours works well. 

 

 

 

Along with the white beans I add a couple onions, carrots, and celery. One Quirk to the recipe I use is one onion is kept whole and pierced with a paring knife. 6 all spice berries are pressed into the slits. Why, I don't really know other than the guy I got the recipe from says his Greek Grandmother did it this way. Though I have no idea who she is just  from the way she cooked,  I wish I did. Therefore I do it as well, in her honor.  I also add some tomato puree, 10 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, some fresh rosemary and thyme, along with some dry white wine. 

 

chop the veggies and stud one onion with all spice

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Dice up some bacon

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Brown the bacon creating a fond

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Pull and reserve the bacon

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Slather the shanks in olive oil and sprinkle liberaly with coarse sea salt and cracked pepper, then roll the shanks in all purpose flour to coat them. Brown the shanks nicely in the bacon fat and a little oil, if needed, to get a nice crust

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Put the whole thing together and put it on the kamado at 350, checking it at 2 hrs. Tip the stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan from the bacon and then from when you brown the shanks is pure money when it comes to flavor. 

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The recipe says to cook this covered, but taking advantage of the fact I am cooking inside a ceramic pot already I let it cook uncovered. 

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On the kamado. Smells amazing. Probably pull it at 3 hours. All that's left to do is pick out a nice red and watch my lovely wife make her famous garlic bread. Nice Quiet New Year, for us. Happy New Year to all of you and your. May God grant you Grace and Peace during the coming year.  By the way, it's still snowing and has been most of the day. 

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2 hours ago, St1brew said:

Great job! Are there ANY snow plows in AZ at all? Or do they just wait until the next day when it's 60 outside again?

Yeah most folks when they hear Arizona think desert floor, cactus, and 120 degrees. Where I live in the Northern Arizona mountains we do get snow and actually have snow plows and such. I live at 5,800 ft and Flagstaff is about 7,000 ft  about 75 miles North of us and  gets quite a bit of snow and actually has a ski resort. Also the White Mountains get quite a bit of snow as well. I even own a show thrower, believe it or not.

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Happy New Year!

 

I love this cook and pictures. Looks delish!  I am originally from NY and spent 44 years there then moved to Florida in 2004.  These pictures really make me miss those snowed in days, you have such pretty scenery surrounding your home. I finally found a good butcher shop here and they carry shanks so I will be trying this recipe. Thanks!

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