Sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all. I would not recommend that for retirement, or when you have to deliver at work, but this certainly proved true for our weekend.
With Saturday open, we managed to fit in a football game. And as we approach a third birthday, we have a huge football fan in the making!
But our great spur of the moment idea, was to head out to a farmers market with an open mind for dinner…
The farmers markets in Austin are great! It is just the right mix of people who like to locally grow things with people who like to locally source things. The energy is quite free-spirited and the food looks beautiful. Mrs. Play Gourmet had the great idea to let the kid ride his bike, which turned our run to the market, into a day at the park.
But the bike didn’t slow our little Play Gourmet from helping us to pick out his favorite options.
Of course, once the food had the boy’s attention, we found ourselves sampling or buying something at every stand.
We passed by a duck farmer which we are sure to come back to, and next to him was a lamb farmer. This is where our Play Gourmet idea struck. He had some fresh lamb shanks calling our name, and they reminded me of all my yearly lamb shanks in Dublin….
And it was that moment that we decided, we’re going to figure out how to do that.
So, once home, we start by sautéing some carrots and onions (I would have added celery, if I had any), and once done, I throw in the shanks, in order to brown or sear on each side.
Once I have rolled the shanks around for a couple of mins, I add about a cup of red wine in, and cook (or deglaze) for a few mins, while I chop up some herbs and prepare about three cups of chicken/beef broth.
At this point I add in the broth and spices. And it is ready to go in the over covered for about an hour and a half at 350F.
After the hour and a half, I take the lid off for another hour and a half, and this is what we rendered…
And to say that this lamb shank was the best I had ever had, would be a gigantic understatement. We could not believe how wonderful this flavor was. The wine and broth cooked down to the most wonderful gravy and gave the lamb an intense and rich flavor. One that we can’t wait to make again.