Chocolate Bacon Braised Lamb Shanks

After tasting my Chocolate Bacon Jam in my last post, I thought that it would be perfect as a base for braising either lamb shanks or short ribs. Having 4 lamb shanks in the fridge sealed the deal for me.

Recipe:

4 Lamb Shanks
1 Tbsp. Bacon Fat
1 Med. Yellow Onion chopped
3 Carrots Chopped
3 Celery Stalks Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 Cup Red Wine
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Water
2/3 Cups Chocolate Bacon Jam
5 Peppercorns
1 tsp. dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown all sides of the lamb shanks in the bacon fat in a 4 quart dutch oven on medium-high heat. Remove the shanks and saute the onion, celery and carrots on medium heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute.

Add the wine, broth, water, jam, peppercorns and rosemary and heat until boiling, making sure that any of the brown crispy bits on the bottom of the dutch oven are scraped off. Once the liquid is boiling then remove from heat and add the lamb shanks to the liquid. Cover the dutch oven and put into the oven for 3 hours.

Remove the shanks and strain the liquid then reduce liquid by half on the stovetop over medium low heat. Spoon liquid over the lamb.

I served the lamb with roasted root vegetables including baby turnips, fingerling potatoes, carrots, and golden beets then paired the meal with a 2005 E. Guigal Gigondas.

2005 E. Guigal Gigondas

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Chocolate Bacon Jam

The obsession continues. Just plain bacon jam was obviously not good enough so when we tasted our finished product it gave me an idea. Why don’t we add espresso instead of coffee and also some chocolate to add richness and depth to the bacon jam.

Game on!

Chocolate Bacon Jam – an original Saint Elk recipe

4 lbs of double smoked bacon chopped
2 medium white onions chopped
2 oz. 90% cacao dark chocolate
2 cups of espresso
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup of molasses
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water

Cook the chopped bacon on medium heat until brown but before it becomes crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the chopped onions on medium low heat until the onions start to take on a light caramel colour approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan.

Combine all ingredients except for 1 1/2 cups of water in a dutch oven and heat until boiling then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Every 30 minutes add another half cup of water.

Once the liquid has been reduced to a thick syrupy mixture remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Place mixture into a food processor and puree for about 30 seconds.

Dark Chocolatey Colour

There you have it. Rich and velvety undertones of chocolate and espresso but with the salty, savoriness of the bacon.

The Finished Product

This is going to be a great flavouring for the braised lamb shanks I am going to make tomorrow.