This wine braised lamb salad is rustic and hearty. Lamb shanks are cooked low and slow in wine, garlic and herbs until falling off the bone. Then it tops a mixture of lettuces, goat cheese, sundried tomato and almonds with a pumpkin vinaigrette.
2tablespoonsextra light olive oilor more as needed
4lamb shanksset out for 30 minutes prior to searing
6clovesgarlicsmashed and peeled
3/4cupdry red winelike Malbec or Merlot
3cupsbeef stockmore or less depending
2sprigs fresh thyme
FOR THE PUMPKIN VINAIGRETTE:
1clovegarlicgrated (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1teaspoonfinely grated shallot
1teaspoonpure maple syrup
1/4cuproasted pumpkin pureecanned may be used
2-3tablespoonschampagne vinegar or to taste
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
FOR THE SALAD:
3tablespoonschopped sundried tomatoesnot packed in any liquids
3tablespoonsroasted and salted pepitas
MAKE THE LAMB SHANKS:
Preheat your oven to 325°.
Meanwhile, heat a large 6 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Season lamb shanks generously with kosher salt and black pepper. When the pot is preheated, drizzle in a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
Work in batches searing two lamb shanks at a time for 3 to 4 minutes a side or until they easily release from the pan and have a deep golden crust. Transfer seared lamb shanks to a clean plate and repeat with the second batch, adding a little more oil if needed.
Once the lamb is seared, reduce heat to medium low and add in the smashed garlic. Cook for one minute before add in the onion, celery and carrots. Stir and cook an additional minute before pouring in the red wine, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.
Next, nestle the lamb shanks onto the bed of vegetables and pour in enough beef stock to almost reach the op of the shanks, leaving the tops of them exposed. The lamb shanks should not be fully submerged.
Add in the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.
Cover and increase the heat to high, bringing the liquids to a boil then sliding the covered pot into your preheated oven to braise for 2-1/2 hours or until falling off the bone.
MAKE THE PUMPKIN VINAIGRETTE:
In the meantime make the vinaigrette by combing all ingredients into a jar and shaking until combined.
Once the lamb has braised, use tongs to transfer them to a large bowl and cover with foil. Once cool enough to handle, pull the off lamb from the bone and cover with foil. Strain the vegetables, herbs and liquids in the pot through a cheese cloth and into a large bowl. Refrigerate and then skim fat off the top once solidified. Transfer stock to a freezer safe container to use in soups, stews or for another purpose later.
MAKE THE SALAD:
Before serving, toss lettuce leaves with some of the vinaigrette and divide among plates. Top each with goat cheese, almonds, sundried tomatoes, pepitas and the braised lamb. Drizzle with any juices that accumulated in the bowl while the lamb was resting.