4 lamb shanks
Salt and pepper
4 ounces vegetable oil
375 mL (½ a bottle) Merlot
1 pound carrots, large dice
1 pound onion, large dice
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 gallon beef stock
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces pancetta, ½-inch dice
6 ounces onion, small dice
½ pound green lentils
½ pound red lentils
4 cups beef stock
4 ounces eggplant, small dice
4 ounces yellow squash, small dice
4 ounces zucchini, small dice
4 ounces plum tomato, small dice
2 ounces fresh garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary
For the lamb: Heat oven to 350 degrees
Heat the oil in a braising pan over high heat and season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the lamb shanks in the oil on both sides until a mahogany color.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any browned bits; cook until reduced by half.
To the pan add carrots, onions, rosemary and beef stock and cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Transfer to oven and cook about 90 minutes or until the lamb is fork tender.
Remove lamb from the braising liquid and strain the liquid.
Place the braising liquid in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. Whisk in butter.
For the lentils: Place a saucepan over medium low heat; add pancetta and cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
To the rendered fat in the saucepan, add onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Stir in green lentils to combine well. Add beef stock and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the red lentils and simmer until tender, about 10 more minutes.
In a separate pan, heat a bit of oil and saute eggplant, squash, zucchini and plum tomato until tender. Add vegetables to lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a mound of lentils in the center of a bowl and then top with one lamb shank. Drizzle braising liquid over the top and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Chef Ryan Repplinger, Gold Class Cinema, South Barrington