Lamb Shanks and Collard Greens, Southern style

The only upside to being stuck alone in the elevator at one o'clock in the morning is finally getting rescued by the firemen.  The list of downsides is considerably longer, of course - no need to really mention them as we can all imagine, or have been there.  The only other possibly positive thing is that you get to reflect on the nature of humanity - unless you are just prone to plain old freaking out.  Screaming loudly will exhaust you quickly and you would be surprised at how soundproof those elevator doors really are.  It's hard to get the attention of your neighbors who all seem to be coming home drunk.  People, you should really reconsider your alcohol intake - I think you are overdoing it.  You are no help at all in an emergency, honestly.

I have seen a few shows about the fire stations and apparently the firemen like to cook when they are in between rescue operations.  Being incredibly brave and helpful and risking your life for strangers would obviously work up a good appetite.  This is a hearty & delicious dinner I would serve to them.  (But, to my lazy, drunk, apathetic neighbors, I say "Nuts on ya!)

Lamb Shanks and Spicy Collard Greens with Mashed Potatoes

1 large bunch organic Collard Greens
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes
1 lemon
3 strips bacon

Wash the greens thoroughly and then trim by removing the stalk all the way up the leaf.  Try to keep the leaf in one piece at the top, if possible, and then roll tightly like a cigar.  Slice very finely.




Slice the garlic cloves into slivers with a razor blade (so says the Southerner)



Meanwhile chop the bacon into small piece and fry.


Add the greens, garlic, and chili pepper to the bacon pan, and squeeze the juice of the lemon all over.



Simmer slowly for about 15 minutes.  You don't need to reduce it to mush the way they serve it in a lot of southern style restaurants - it's a lot nicer if it isn't overcooked.


I got a bit ahead of myself because, of course, the lamb shanks take a couple of hours to cook to a nice tenderness so you have to start them first!

Lamb Shanks

3 lamb shanks
1/4 cup flour
1/2 sweet onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
4 canned tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup tomato juice (from the can of tomatoes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp each oregano, rosemary, Paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef broth (or cube)

First roll the shanks in flour and brown in olive oil in a big skillet or casserole
Remove from pan
Drain off the lamb fat (it's indigestable) 
De-glaze the pan with red wine
Add onions and mushrooms and saute 5 minutes
Add sliced garlic and 4 chopped canned tomatoes 
Add seasonings
Return the lamb to the pan 
Add all the tomato juice and beef broth
Cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


After the lamb has simmered for about an hour, add the tomato paste.  If you have used a sweet onion, add a splash of balsamic vinegar - the combination will be fantastic.

Then start to prepare the mashed potatoes which are a must because the sauce is delicious! 

About 20 minutes before the lamb is ready to serve, remove the lid and let the sauce simmer down - it should thicken by itself but, if it doesn't, add a little flour and butter ball and cook it in for 10 minutes.



Seems to me the basic conflict between men and women, sexually, is that men are like firemen. To men, sex is an emergency, and no matter what we're doing we can be ready in two minutes. Women, on the other hand, are like fire. They're very exciting, but the conditions have to be exactly right for it to occur. ~Jerry Seinfeld

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't too crazy about the collard greens in NOLA. They were indeed overcooked (at least in the places I was eating).