Now is the perfect time for a drive up to Locals Tasting Room in Geyserville. The summer crowds have not started yet, the fields are green and mustard is blooming. Recently one of our members stopped by to sample wines as she was looking for a great wine to pair with Lamb Shanks and Lentils. After trying a variety of wines she decided on the Bella’s Blend from Ehret winery to go with her meal (this Cab Franc blend pairs magically with Lamb). Fortunately, she had enough time to share the recipe with me before the room got too busy. Last night I had friends over and prepared the meal and it was fabulous. So I am passing it on to the faithful followers of Locals blog as it is a perfect spring dinner and wine pairing. This is a meal that you can put in the oven and be doing something else while it cooks.
(Recipe serves four)
Four Lamb Shanks
1 ½ cups dry French green lentil (I got mine at Andy’s market in Sebastopol)
One bottle of Pinot Noir (I used Praxis Pinot Noir)
1 teaspoon dry thyme (or 1/1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme)
Salt and pepper to taste (salt and pepper each shank before placing in the pot)
Two to three medium carrots peeled then chopped medium dice
Two cloves garlic minced
One medium onion chopped
Put large casserole dish or cooking pot with lid on top burner (should be oven proof)
Place two teaspoons of olive oil in pot and put over Medium Heat
Add onion, garlic and carrots cooking for about 5 minutes or just until the vegetables just begin to cook
Rinse the Lentils, drain and then add to the Pot and stir all the ingredients
(Note for a variation you can add one can of diced tomatoes but drain them before adding if you choose to use them)
Add one bottle of Pinot Noir or Burgundy wine
Place Lamb Shanks on the lentils and cover with lid and place in preheated oven of 400 degrees for 10 Minutes only
Reduce heat to 350 degrees
Cook in the 350 degree oven for about one hour, remove shanks and stir the Lentils if more moisture is needed add a little more wine but it should be fine
After stirring the lentils nestle the shanks back in the Pot and cover for another hour until shanks are tender and pull away from the bone.
You can place the pot on stove top to rest while you set the table.
Place lentils on the plates, place a lamb shank in the center of each plate and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme
Open a bottle of the Ehret Bella’s Blend and enjoy.