Happy Easter! And Passover! And April Fools' Day! Whatever you celebrate, even if it's #SundayFunday or nothing at all, I hope that you're having a wonderful weekend and a great day. I love Easter because it kicks off spring and brings together family, friends, food and faith. Today, we're going to church (my dad sings in the choir!) and then heading to my parents' house for brunch.
I'm continuing my Easter tradition of gifting my (honey) bunny with Brewer's Art Resurrection Beer for the fifth year in a row! This time, I'm adding some Maryland-made treats to his Easter basket including Mouth Party Caramel, Zeke's Coffee, B'More Saucy & Mary Sue's Crab-shaped Chocolates. YUM!
To celebrate the holiday, I'm sharing a recipe that incorporates two classic Easter ingredients (lamb + carrots), but is a twist on tradition: Lamb Shank with Roasted Carrots over Mashed Coconut Butternut Squash.
But first, let's talk about sous-vide cooking. I was so apprehensive about the Anova Culinary Sous Vide because I didn't want another appliance taking up counter space. Now, I'm a believer. It's basically a way to cook your food precisely, in a water bath, at the perfect temperature, to achieve the exact level of "doneness". In simple terms: you vacuum seal meat (or veggies!) and drop the bag in a temperature controlled bath. Then sear it and you'll never go back to eating dry chicken, soggy vegetables or over-cooked steak.
For this recipe, we sous vide the lamb shank for 48 hours in a sauce consisting of:
1/2 bottle red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coriandar
2 tablespoon fresh sage
Dash salt & pepper
After 48 hours, remove the lamb shank from the bag, and sear in a large cask iron pan. Pour the sauce in a small sauce pan and reduce it while the lamb shank sears (about 5 minutes).
The butternut squash was a spontaneous addition to this meal, because it created a nice bed of flavor for the lamb to rest on top of and the sauce to soak up! You butternut forget this squash recipe:
Cut butternut squash squash vertically, remove the seeds and roast at 450 degrees on a cookie sheet + parchment paper for 60-75 minutes depending on your desired level of roastiness*
Peel off the skin with patience, grit and grace or just take a knife and go for it. Sometimes I can peel the skin off successfully without demolishing the squash, but this time was not one of those times. My solution? MASHED SQUASH:
-Cubed Butternut Squash pieces
-1 tablespoon of coconut oil
-1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Pepper
-If not already warm, heat up for 2 minutes so coconut oil mixes thoroughly
-Pulse in vitamix or blender or mash until you reach your desired level of mashedness*
I prefer roasting big, colorful carrots, but considering this meal was on a Thursday night and the sides were thrown together rather quickly, the baby carrots worked out well. Simply roast baby carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper at 450 for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can sous vide the carrots and then roast or sear.
To plate this dish, remove the lamb from the shank, give the bone to your dog and make sure that you very dramatically about pour the sauce over everything. Bonus points for filming the process in slo-mo or with boomerang. If you have questions about this meal, comments about sous vide cooking or want to talk about other Easter traditions & treats, comment below!
*I know these aren't real words, but I like them.