Lamb shank, local and pasture-fed. Flageolet beans, local and not as tender as I'd have liked. (Maybe not cooked long enough.) Braising liquid of frozen tomatoes, commercial (eek!) chicken stock, local wine, and aromatics (celery, bay leaves, rosemary, orange zest) from the garden. Oh, wait: plus farmers market garlic, carrots and onion.
It's nice to be in the braisey-brains season again. It took some teeth-gnashing and a sky-load of cold rain. I've noticed reading the blogs that we (in the Northern Hemisphere) are all finally succumbing to stews and soups and beans, beloved beans.
The lamb shank had been in the freezer for a week or so — and it was a long shank, too long for my trusty, crusty Le Creuset pot. Cranky sterilized his hacksaw with the elbow of his sweatshirt, and took a whack at the leg. A minimum of meat and bone dust later, it was two perfect pieces, and the rest was easy.
My mom asked me the other day if I could braise a lamb shank without a recipe, and I told her I thought I could, but it was always nice to have a cookbook open on the counter.
Guess what, mom. I did it without a cookbook this time.
When I was all finished, I went and took a peek at the recipe in Lidia's Italian Table... and Lidia had it right!