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Braised Lamb with Syrah Risotto and Porcini Foam

Recipe Date:
August 29, 2014
Serving Size:
Active Time:
Imperial (US)


5 Tbl olive oil for cooking (not EVOO)
4 lamb shanks, seasoned with salt and pepper
½ carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
½ yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
½ stick celery, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 four inch sprigs of rosemary
3 quarts beef stock
10 whole black peppercorns
10 whole coriander seeds
2 Tbl ground cumin
½ white onion, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups Montemaggiore Syrah
1Tbl Salt
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese
3 Tbl butter
2oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 pint chicken stock
2 Tbl butter

Directions for the Lamb:

  • Heat a 6 quart pot with lid until very hot. Add 3 Tbl. olive oil, and sear the lamb shanks on all sides until golden. Remove lamb and set aside.
  • Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, and 2 sprigs of rosemary (chopped). Sweat the mirepoix of carrot, onion, and celery (turn heat down low, put tight lid on pot for approximately 10 minutes until vegetables are soft).
  • Add lamb shanks and cover with beef stock. Add black peppercorns, coriander seeds, one sprig of rosemary, and ground cumin.
  • Put the lid on the pot and place in 300°F oven for 2.5 hours or until fork tender. Remove shanks, and set aside in a foil tent. If desired, remove bone and any fat.
  • Strain cooking liquid into a clean pot and reduce to a glaze (until coats the back of a spoon).
  • Glaze hot shanks.

For the risotto:

  • Sweat white onion in a high sided sauté pan with 2 Tbl. olive oil. Add Arborio rice and coat with olive oil.
  • Add red wine to cover rice and stir. Reduce wine until dry.
  • Add hot water to cover rice, add salt, and then reduce water until dry again.  Add hot water again just to cover and now taste for tenderness. 
  • When tender, add Asiago cheese and butter.  Stir and add hot water for desired thickness.

For the porcini foam:

  • Bring chicken stock to a boil, remove from heat, and steep porcinis for 10 minutes. Strain out porcinis and add butter to the liquid.
  • Using a hand blender on high, incorporate air in order to create foam.

In the middle of each plate, spoon the ¼ of the risotto then place a lamb shank in the middle of the rice.  Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of foam to finish.

Wine Pairing: Syrah and Reserve. Lamb naturally goes well with Syrah given the meaty, gamey flavors of both. The weight of the dish and that of the wines definitely match, and the risotto will unsurprisingly match the red wine it is made with.

Recipe created especially for Montemaggiore by Chef Paul Smith ©2008.