You asked for it, you got it! Thanks to everyone (wow!) who reached out to me for a lamb recipe after I interviewed Joe Evans on Five LIVE, the latest series of Talk Farm to Me, where I ask one farmer five questions LIVE on Instagram on Thursdays at noon. It's fun to participate live where you can make a comment, ask a question or throw an emoji or two at us while we chat. I always post the interview after the fact on my Instagram (@xoxofarmgirl and also on @talkfarmtome) and then share additional information and fun outtakes. Here is a link to the interview with Joe. Spoiler alert: he sings!
So, without further ado, here is the Evans' go to lamb recipe. Who better to know how to cook a lamb than the farmers of said lamb?
Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Leeks, Carrots, Rosemary, and Orange
This is a recipe from Fine Cooking by Molly Stevens. Here is the link, but I have repurposed it here for your ease. Jackie Evans has "been making it for years and it never gets old." She also strays a bit from the recipe by using shoulder chops because she usually has more of those, so try whichever you choose. And, instead of tinfoil, Jackie uses a cast iron skillet with a lid.
Enjoy! And if you make it, take a picture and send it along!! Oh, and since we are on the topic of recipes, Joe prefers a cocktail over cookies and shared his favorite Gin & Tonic recipe, which I made and tried (mmmm) passing on a few tips of my own as well. You can see the video here. Maybe try one while you're cooking your lamb?
4 medium leeks (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, washed, and cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths
4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths
4 (2-1/2-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
4 (2-1/2- to 3-inch) strips orange zest (use a vegetable peeler)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lamb shanks (about 1 lb. each), trimmed
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 4 slices
Pat the lamb shanks dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, brown the shanks on all sides, about 10 minutes total per batch.
Transfer 1 shank to each foil square, arranging it on top of the vegetables. Draw up the edges of the foil to capture any juice, but don’t seal the packets yet.
Return the skillet to medium heat, add the vermouth, and bring to a simmer, scraping the skillet with a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat. Portion the vermouth evenly among the 4 packets, pouring it over the lamb. Dot each shank with a slice of the butter.
Fold the foil to form rectangular packets, sealing the seams tightly. Arrange the packets on a baking sheet; it’s fine if they touch but they shouldn’t overlap.
Bake for 2-1/2 hours; then check for doneness by carefully opening one of the packets (watch out for the steam) and testing the meat with a fork—it should be tender and pulling away from the bone. If necessary, continue to bake for another 10 minutes and check again.
Transfer the contents of the packets to large plates or pasta bowls, surrounding the shanks with the vegetables and juice. Remove the rosemary and orange zest before serving, if you like.
xoxo Farm Girl