I love lamb, so when I read about braised lamb shanks with cheese…I was sold. This dish came out wonderfully, and I am excited to make it again. It starts out feeling very much like a French braised lamb shank until, after 2 glorious hours of slow cooking, you add in a few cups caciocavallo cheese!
I have been holding onto a few pounds of oxtails in the freezer, waiting for a good recipe to turn them into. The time has finally come! I decided to cook my oxtails down into a beautiful stew with some leeks and onions.
I like to dredge any kind of shanks or boned meat in flour before browning it, I feel like it browns better and serves to thicken the stew as it cooks. This is almost a Bourgignion of sorts, but not quite. I de-glaze the vegetables with brandy and cook the stew with red wine, but I like the addition of leeks to the standard onion and carrots.
Monégasque means of Monaco, and it appears that this is a variation of one of Monaco’s national dishes. A ravioli filled with chard, spinach, cheeses, and a bit of lamb’s brain (because why wouldn’t you?) is served on top of a stew of beef braised in red wine with carrots and herbs, very much like a Boeuf Bourguignon.
When I was inviting friends to dinner, I had to explain what Cassoulet was to our non-French friends. The best description I could come up with was “pork and pork and pork and pork, duck and duck fat bean stew.” Cassoulet involves 8 different type of pig and duck meats/products. It is an incredibly rich and warming meal, perfect for the change of the weather. The complex flavor is developed by slowly stewing and roasting ham hocks, pork shoulder, pork skin, prosciutto and pancetta and made further complex by the use of duck fat and duck confit. The Tabais or cannellini beans disperse the meatiness to create what tastes like chili for the gods.