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Healdsburg Restuarant

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Lamb Shank

Dish of the Week:

Preston Lamb Shank with Parsnip Purée, Caramelized Endive & Fennel Marmalade

As soon as we took possession of this beautiful sweet-grass fed* animal from Lou Preston, we broke it down and began to slow roast the bones intended for stock.  The next day we sautéed the shank along with the shoulder, tongue, neck, and tail until golden brown adding white wine, carrots, tomato paste, garlic, fennel and the stock from the roasted bones.

We love it when we get an opportunity to serve a bone-in cut of meat: the shank is especially delicious as slow cooking enhances the flavor in each bite.  Lou’s animals are leaner than most, which imparts a subtle meaty flavor with an unmistakable hint of sweet-grass in the finish.

The final sauce, with its rich caramel color, is the result of further reduction with sherry vinegar, butter and herbs.

The earthy trio of shank, parsnip purée and caramelized endive, all saturated flavor profiles, call for contrasting notes to brighten and lift the dish to a higher level.  We’ve added two ~ a quenelle of fennel marmalade is made by combining diced caramelized fennel, champagne vinegar, reduced vegetable stock, a pinch of sugar and fennel pollen.

Then, just before the plate is wisked off to the dining room, a light shower of fennel fronds and Rapini flowers completes this perfect winter dish.

*sweet-grass fed: Everyone wins with biodynamic farming as practiced by the Prestons.  The animals are moved daily fertilizing the soil from pasture to pasture, orchard to orchard, and in Lou’s case, vineyard to vineyard.  The animal gets to eat the sweetest top grass and the diner gets to enjoy superlative taste from a life well grazed.  Last but certainly not least, Barndiva gets to honor its commitment to supporting a sustainable food shed.

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