Lamb Shanks

Every first Friday of the month, except for July when our Basque club has it’s picnic, we have a dinner open to the public.  We always serve lamb chops and I alternate chicken, pork, albondigas (meatballs) and fish for the other meat.  We also have lamb shanks, lamb ribs or lamb stew along with homemade soup, Basque rice, a vegetable, salad, homemade bread and desserts.  I never know how many people will show up, it could be 80 or 160 so I always try to prepare enough food and I always keep my fingers crossed. So far we have never run out…came close a few times but we have never run out.  There have been some mad dashes to the grocery store for more lettuce for the salad.

I made up this recipe from a couple of ones that I had tried and this recipe has become a regular on the menu.  I also use it for lamb ribs.  Lamb ribs can be fatty, but this combination goes really well with them. Don’t be alarmed of the large amount of lamb shanks pictured in the pan.  This was for the first Friday dinner and I made two large pans of shanks.

20130923-222320.jpglamb shanks

20130923-222341.jpgAdd minced garlic and chopped onion

20130923-222406.jpgAdd sliced carrots, can of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 can of beer, cup of red wine, salt and pepper to taste.

20130923-222419.jpgCook at 350 degrees for about 4  hours.  This is an approximate. It may be more or less depending on your stove.

You just want to slow roast them.

20130923-222448.jpgFinished!

Lamb Shanks

4 to 6 lamb shanks

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion chopped

3 carrots peeled and sliced

1-28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1/2 can of beer

1 cup red wine

salt and pepper to taste

Put a little oil in the bottom of a roasting pan or a large dutch oven.  Add shanks, garlic, onion, carrots, tomatoes, beer, wine, salt and pepper.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees approximately 4  hours.  This may be more or less.

Enjoy!

Basque Wine Cake

This cake is so simple, delicious and might I say, addicting.  Make sure you have plenty of people to eat this after you bake it, because if you don’t I can guarantee you will eat almost all of it yourself.  It’s kind of like when you make homemade bread and it’s hot out of the oven and before you know it half the loaf is gone with 1/2 a stick of butter! Not that has ever happened to me!  This cake freezes well and is a wonderful cake to take to a new neighbor or anytime you want to give someone something home baked.

Our Basque club makes this a lot for our food booths at the county fair and two other events.  It’s always a favorite with the customers.

  In the summer I like to serve it with sliced fresh freestone peaches and top the peaches with real whipped cream that has a touch of ground cinnamon.

Ingredients for Wine Cake
Ingredients for Wine Cake

Basque Wine Cake

1 package yellow cake mix with pudding in it
4 eggs
1 cup white wine
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients.  Pour into greased Bundt pan.  Bake 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven, turn out onto a plate and immediately pour glaze over hot cake.

Glaze:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup red wine
dash of cinnamon

Mix well, adjusting sugar and wine amounts to get a heavy syrup.

Note:
You can use nutmeg instead of cinnamon.
You can also use spice cake mix or chocolate cake mix with red wine.  You can use red wine with the yellow cake mix, but it makes the cake a greenish color.

IMG_4559

Finished cake.

IMG_4568Wrapped and unwrapped cakes for my husbands customer appreciation dinner.

Enjoy!

Pears in wine sauce

Pears cooking in wine sauce.

This is a nice winter dessert.  You can make it ahead of time and actually the longer the pears have to soak in the wine the tastier and darker they become. There are some in my fridge right now that are a week old and they are a lovely burgundy color!  I can’t remember where I found the original recipe, but this is my take on pears in wine sauce.  If you choose to use fresh pears make sure you cook them in the wine until they are tender. I used port for this recipe.  We had a case of homemade port that someone had given us a few years ago.  It makes excellent pears in wine sauce, but any red wine that you have on hand will work.  I have found the the better wines work well…not like kalimotxo’s where you want the cheapest wine possible.

Kalimotxo (cali-moe-cho) is a drink that is popular in Euskadi (the Basque Country) and very popular here in the west with the younger generation.  If you go to any Basque picnic or Basque restaurant and ask for the drink they will be able to pour one for you.  It is made with 1/2 cheap red wine and 1/2 Coca Cola.

Pears in wine sauce

1- 29 oz. can of pears halves in light syrup
Red wine

1/2 cup sugar

2- 6″ cinnamon sticks or 4- 3″ones

Drain pear juice into a measuring cup.  Add equal amounts of red wine to juice.  Put the liquid into a saucepan with the sugar and cinnamon sticks.  Bring just to a boil, add the pears and cook about 10 or 15 minutes longer. Let cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.  Remove cinnamon sticks before serving.

Enjoy!