Don't worry people, summer isn't offcially over yet! But, like other Seattlelites, I woke up yesterday morning to a cloudy and cool day. I needed something that would warm my spirits up and make me forget about how sunny it should be today! For some reason, this cooler weather put me in the mood to eat something cozy. I stopped at the market and bought a nice piece of lamb shank. A fall-of-the-bone tender shank of lamb evokes everything good about a cool day. Paired with my sweet yellow corn risotto, this recipe is splendid August or December.
For my lamb shank, I started with a basic sautéing method that we commonly use in Brazilian cuisine. In a Dutch oven, I combined olive oil and onions until the onions became translucent. I then added garlic and let it sauté for about thirty seconds, so not to burn. To my onion and garlic, I added Italian parsley, tomato paste and a bay leaf. After about a minute I added my salt, pepper and cumin seasoned lamb shank to my fragrant sauté mixture and let all sides brown. When my shank was browned all around I added water, covered the pot and put it in the oven for three and a half hours.
The result was pure heaven. It really amazed me how something that took so little work turned into something with robust flavor! The meat was fork-tender and not overpowered by the simple seasoning. Since nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn, I made a delicious sweet yellow corn risotto to go with my lamb shank. The sweetness of the corn stock and tenderness of the corn kernels was a perfect combination for the velvety smooth, creamy rice.
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 ears corn, husks and hair removed and kernel sliced from the cob (set aside the husks and cobs)
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
5 cups of corn stock (see cook’s note)
Cook’s Note: In a large sauce pan, combine corn husks, cobs, and bay leaf. Cover cob with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock.
In a large sauce pan, add olive oil and onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the Arborio rice and corn kernels and stir frequently to coat with the oil. Deglaze with white wine and keep stirring.
When the rice and corn has absorbed the wine, add the corn stock one cup at a time and stirring until liquid is absorbed. Keep the rice at a constant boil while stirring. After the addition of the last cup, when the liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked add salt to taste and fold in the Parmigano-Reggiano and butter.
Remove the risotto from heat and let sit covered for about 2 minutes.