Roasted Turnips and Carrots
Last week we had turnips (or was it the week before?) and I had grabbed an extra bunch from the share box at my CSA pick up spot. They had gotten a bit withered, but I successfully re-hydrated them by soaking in a sink of cold water – love those root vegetables!
After they were firm again, I removed the tops; which were officially too far gone for cooking as turnip greens. I peeled the turnips, then cut them into 3/4 inch chunks.
I ended up with 3 c. chopped turnips, so I peeled and cut up carrots until I had 3 c. of 3/4 inch chunks of carrots as well.
I preheated the oven to 350° (I was baking something else at the same time). To the chopped root vegetables, I added:
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1/2 c. sliced onion
- 6-8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
I tossed the whole mixture to coat with oil, then spread the vegetables out on a rimmed baking sheet and cooked on the top shelf of the oven for 25 minutes, checking and turning twice.
After 25 minutes, the veggies were just starting to turn brown, so I increased the heat to 450° (The other baking was now finished.). I watched and turned the vegetables every 10 minutes and after 20 minutes they were a nice toasty brown on all sides.
At this point I put them away to use another day. I had read a recipe that suggested vegetables à la Grecque. While it sounded good, I didn’t know what that was.
At the Food & Wine web site I learned “In France, vegetables prepared à la Grecque (“in the Greek style”) are cooked with vinegar or lemon, olive oil and coriander and other seasonings, then allowed to marinate in the refrigerator and served cool.”
That sounded good. Maybe I would go that extra step later….
Braised Lamb Shanks
Last year we bought two lambs from a local farmer and I had a packet of lamb shanks still in the freezer. I thawed the lamb shanks and found a recipe that braised them in a lemony, white wine mixture. This sounded sort of like the à la Grecque vibe I was looking for, so without me having any of the actual ingredients called for in either recipe, I started cooking. 🙂
- 2 lamb shanks (should have used 4)
- 1 T. canola oil
- 2 T. chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 T. key lime juice
- 1 c. dry vermouth
- 2 c. chicken stock
In a cast iron dutch oven, I heated the canola oil until shimmering. I salted and peppered the lamb shanks, then browned in all sides. My shanks had been sliced in three connected segments each, so when I browned them they curled up, which made getting all sides evenly browned tricky.
Using tongs, I placed the browned shanks aside on a plate and added the vermouth to the dutch oven, scraping the pan to loosen those browned bits. Then I added the garlic, 1 T. mint leaves, lime juice and chicken stock. When that had returned to a simmer, I returned the lamb shanks back to the pan. Only 1 inch of meat should be above the liquids; then I covered the pan and put it in the oven.
After allow the shanks to braise for 1 1/2 hours, I remove the lid and cooked uncovered for 30 minutes. Using tongs, I turned the lamb shanks and allowed the second side to cook for 30 minutes, until both sides were browned.
I removed the pan from the oven and while the meat rested for 15 minutes, I reheated the vegetables in the microwave. The remaining braising liquids, I served over the roasted vegetables, and I sprinkled the remaining T. of mint over the lamb.
The roasted garlic in the vegetables was the biggest hit of the evening and the meat was tender and moist.
The citrus-y, minty zing I had hoped for wasn’t overwhelming, but the roasted lamb shanks also weren’t heavy or greasy.
Next time, I will try actual lemons or limes and include zest in the braising liquids; the citrus should be more prevalent.
But there were no leftovers. That is a victory in my book!