Autumn Olive Medley

October 7, 2009


Author Notes: In this dish I combine green olives with one of my favorite meats, lamb shanks, and two of my favorite vegetables, celery root and fennel. If you haven't used celery root or fennel before, this dish is a great way to start. Their mellow nuttiness combines perfectly with the tangy olives and the savory lamb. It's an instant trip to the Mediterranean on a cool autumn day, and you don't even have to buy a plane ticket. You can pull the meat off the bone and serve it as a stew, or keep the lamb shanks intact for a more elegant presentation. Like most stews and braises, this tastes even better the next day, so make it ahead if you have the chance.Abra Bennett

Food52 Review: If you're in the mood for a rich, comforting stew but want something with a bit of flair, this dish is for you. Abra Bennett has you simmer lamb shanks in a heady broth of red wine, stock, fennel, celeriac and aromatics until the meat falls from the bone, adding sundried tomatoes and green olives two-thirds of the way through. The resulting dish is complex and addictive: fennel and shallot melt into the sauce, the olives leech some of their brine and become almost artichoke-like in flavor, the sundried tomatoes soften and mellow, and a finishing splash of Pernod and a shower of freshly grated lemon zest cut thorugh of the fattiness of the lamb. Speaking of fat, you may want to drain some of the oil in the pan after browning the lamb (we kept about 3 tablespoons). We also reduced the sauce by simmering it for a few minutes after the meat was cooked. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large shallots
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 softball-sized celery root (celeriac)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried bouquet garni
  • 2 cups young red wine
  • 2 cups veal or beef broth
  • 1 cup green olives, pits in
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 splash Ricard or Pernod (optional)
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Salt and pepper the lamb shanks liberally. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid. Brown the lamb shanks all over. Take your time with this and get them really nice and brown. Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside.
  2. Dice the fennel bulb into small pieces. Peel the celery root and dice into the same size pieces as the fennel. Peel and chop the shallots and garlic. Lightly brown the vegetables in the pan used for the meat. When the vegetables are browned add the meat back to the pan. Add the bay leaf, the bouquet garni, the wine, and the broth. Cover the pan and simmer over medium low heat for 1 hour.
  3. Add the olives and the sundried tomatoes to the pot. If necessary, add a little more wine or broth. Simmer, covered, an additional 30 minutes, or until the meat is nearly falling off the bone.
  4. If you'd like to emphasize the fennel flavor and bring out the mellowness of the olives, add a splash of Ricard or Pernod. This really does enhance the dish, and is very Mediterranean. Taste the sauce and add additional salt and/or pepper to taste. Just before serving sprinkle the lamb with the finely grated lemon zest (use a Microplane if you have one).
  5. You can gently pull the meat off the bone and serve it as a stew, or as a sauce over pasta. You can also serve these on the bone as is, or over polenta. Be sure to mention to your diners that the olives contain pits!

More Great Recipes:
Stew|Lamb|Celery|Fennel|Olive|Pernod|Shallot|Make Ahead|One-Pot Wonders|Fall|Winter|Entree

Reviews (21) Questions (0)

21 Reviews

Jill April 11, 2017
Can this be made with Veal Shanks?
 
pauljoseph August 11, 2010
can't wait to make this--great recipe!
 
Author Comment
Abra B. March 27, 2010
I'm so happy that people are making and enjoying this. That's even better than winning!
 
SaySchwartzAndBeSure February 22, 2010
Celery root, fennel and lamb three of my faves but I have never tried them together. My shanks are frozen so I am going to use a beautiful rolled sholder I got this afternoon. Wish me luck, I can't wait!
 
aargersi February 12, 2010
I am making this Sunday night and I am SO excited!!!
 
aargersi February 15, 2010
OK I had this last night and I think it may be the best lamb shank I have ever had ... I have never cooked celeriac before and I am hooked! Also on pernod ... I confess to having a little sip or two before dinner as well. <br /> <br />
 
Maria T. February 11, 2010
Congratulations Abra for your wining recipe, it loks delicious!
 
TheWimpyVegetarian February 11, 2010
This looks wonderful! Congrats on your wildcard win!
 
Allison C. February 10, 2010
Congrats on the Wildcard Win. Feels great, right? Can't wait to try your recipe.
 
Annelle February 10, 2010
Just beautiful! This is a perfect wild card choice. I want mine to look and taste just like yours when I try it. I can almost smell it through the picture!
 
NakedBeet October 19, 2009
You had me at lamb shanks
 
Charles C. October 18, 2009
I love lamb shanks and this is a dish I'll be making in the very near future.
 
Silcarry October 16, 2009
The recipe "reads" delicious, and I will make it.
 
Silcarry October 16, 2009
The recipe "reads" delicious, and I will make it.
 
Silcarry October 16, 2009
The recipe "reads" delicious, and I will make it.
 
Silcarry October 16, 2009
The recipe "reads" delicious, and I will make it.
 
Silcarry October 16, 2009
The recipe "reads" delicious, and I will make it.
 
Silcarry October 16, 2009
The recipe "reads" delicious, and I will make it.
 
Author Comment
Abra B. October 16, 2009
Thanks, testkitchenette. Let me know how you like the dish when you make it!
 
testkitchenette October 15, 2009
Love lamb, love olives, what a great recipe1
 
Author Comment
Abra B. October 16, 2009
Thanks, testkitchenette. Let me know how you like the dish when you make it!