Chef of the Month Abhijit Saha's Recipe: Slow Braised Lamb Shanks w/ Saffron Risotto & Gremolata

Saffron Risotto and Gremolata

Serves 4


For braised lamb shanks:
Lamb shanks 8 (if small a la carte portion - 4 if big)
Olive oil 4tbsp
Onion, roughly sliced 1 no
Carrot, roughly sliced 1 no
Leeks, roughly chopped 1no
Celery sticks- roughly chopped a few
Garlic 6 cloves
Red wine 300ml
Lamb stock 600ml
Rosemary 3 sprigs
Butter, dices 30gm
Salt to taste
Black pepper, crushed to taste

For Saffron risotto: 
Arborio rice 200gms 
Olive oil 2tbsp
Onion – chopped 30gms
White wine 30ml 
Chicken stock 700ml
Saffron – soaked in 50ml of warm water a generous pinch
Butter 2 tbsp
Parmesan - grated 4tbsp
Parsley – chopped 5gms 
Salt to taste 
Pepper to taste 

For gremolata: 
Garlic bread – toasted and crushed 2 slices
Lemon zest 1tsp 
Parsley – chopped 2tbsp

Rosemary sprigs 8 no
Bouquet of herbs 4nos

To prepare braised lamb shanks:
Pre heat oven to 165C
Season lamb shanks with salt and crushed black pepper.
In a sandwich bottom saucepan, heat some olive oil, sear the shanks and keep aside.
Sauté chopped vegetables and garlic in same pan till light brown, add red wine and simmer on slow heat till reduced to half. Add rosemary, seared lamb shanks and stock, cover with lid and braise in pre- heated oven for an hour and a half. 
Remove from oven, stain the braising liquid, keep aside the lamb shanks and discard the rest
In a pan reduce the braising liquid over low heat to a saucy consistency and set aside

To prepare gremolata: 
Mix together all ingredients and keep aside

To prepare Saffron risotto: 
Heat olive oil in a pan, add the onions and fry slowly for about half a minute without colouring. Add rice and turn up the heat. Fry the rice for a minute or so while stirring. 
Add wine and saffron water, continue cooking for another minute or so - till most liquids have been absorbed.
Add one third of the stock, turn down the heat to medium and cook while stirring continuously. Repeat the process with the remaining stock a ladle at a time - as liquids get absorbed - until the rice is cooked. 
Remove from and stir in the butter and parmesan.

Put  risotto in the center of  each plate, place two lamb shanks per plate on the risotto . 
Pour sauce on the lamb shanks and sprinkle with gremolata
Garnish with rosemary sprigs, herb bouquet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.