After a Ranch-to-Table Dinner with BB Ranch at Pike Place Market, I was intrigued with their contribution to the marketplace, as a local urban butcher. Many bustling metropolis’ are close in proximity to farmlands, but how do we get the products that are grown just hours away? Local people committed to the support of a local economy. Read about Donny’s Saddleback Sheep Ranch on Lopez Island. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it’s a great excuse to invite your loved ones to the table. A Dutch oven filled with a hearty stew of lamb shanks, tomatoes and cinnamon is a wonderful Greek Easter tradition from my family to yours.
Notes: Using the whole animal is something BB Ranch is passionate about. Instead of using two shanks, I opted for one shank and one neck, sliced into 2” steaks. The pieces were manageable and cooked evenly.
1 lamb shank, sliced into 4- 2” steaks
1 lamb neck, sliced into 4-2” steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ sweet onion, cut into large wedges
3 zucchini, cut into 2” thick pieces
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 2” thick pieces
1-28oz can stewed tomatoes
1 ½ cup Cabernet style red wine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
½ can tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
- Heat oven to 425*F. Prep vegetables, cutting them into 2” chunks. Slice onions into large pieces and set aside.
- Season lamb steaks liberally with salt and pepper; warm olive oil in a Dutch oven to medium high. Brown steaks on either side for 3 minutes, work in batches if necessary. Set aside on a plate. Remove fat from pan, leaving 1 tablespoon to cook onions.
- Remove pan from heat; add onions to pan and sauté until slightly browned, 5 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini, season with salt and pepper. Stir. Add lamb, canned tomatoes, 1 cup wine and all cinnamon, stir to combine.
- Bake with the lid on tightly for one hour. Lower temperature to 375*F, remove lid, add tomato paste, sugar and ½ cup wine. Stir into mixture and bake for 30 minutes without lid; you want the sauce to thicken.
- Once moisture has evaporated and the dish looks like a hearty thick stew you’re ready to serve over orzo, polenta or rice to sop up the rich juices.