December Destination Dish: Lentils with Braised Lamb Shank and Olives

Share Chef Dylan Giordan’s mouthwatering lentil and lamb shank recipe with friends and family this winter season. Named Chef de Cuisine of bin on the lake in January 2012, Chef Dylan Giordan calls upon his Mediterranean background, his experience in some of the city's most esteemed restaurants and his passion for Northwest flavors and the region's stunning raw ingredients to create the redefined dining experience at bin on the lake. Giordan’s expertly crafted, yet understated food and culinary passion creates a whimsical and authentic bin on the lake menu. Try this tasty recipe at home!

Green lentils with braised lamb shank and olives
Serves 8

Recipe Ingredients:
1. 4 ea. - Lamb foreshanks
2. 1 ea. - Yellow onion, diced
3. 1ea. - Bay leaves
4. 2- ea. - Garlic cloves
5. ½ ea. - 28 oz. can of San Marzano olives, crushed by hand
6. 1 Tbsp. Oregano, chopped
7. ½ cup Dry white wine
8. 2 cups Lamb broth
9. 1 ea. - Olivata recipe
10. 2 cups Puy lentils
11. ½ lb. Feta cheese
12. Flour for dusting
13. Salt & Pepper

Directions:
The day before cooking, season the shanks liberally with salt and pepper, to ensure the meat will be deeply seasoned.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Dust the lamb with the flour, and shake off any excess.  In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp canola oil.  Add the shanks  in a single layer.  This will take a couple of batches to get the lamb properly browned.  Cook the lamb shanks, turning, until rich and brown on all sides.  In between batches, wipe the pot out with paper towel, to prevent from burning the flour on the bottom of the pan.  Add more oil to the pan, and brown the next round of lamb.  When all the lamb is brown on all sides, remove the lamb and begin building the base of the sauce.  In 2 Tbsp. canola oil, sauté the onions and season with a touch of salt.  After 10 minutes, the onions will be translucent, add the bay leaves and the garlic cloves.  When the mixture becomes very aromatic, add the wine, and reduce to dry.  Next, add the tomatoes and oregano and bring to a boil.  Add the lamb broth and bring back to a boil, and check for seasoning. Then mix in the olivata recipe and add the lamb shanks back to the pot, being sure to cover in the sauce.  Cover tightly and place in the oven.  Check the shanks after 3 hours.  The meat should be tender and nearly falling off the bone.  Cool the shanks in their own sauce over night, and reheat gently to serve.
To cook the lentils, put them in a non-reactive pot and cover with cold water.  The water should come to ½ inch above the lentils.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
When the shanks are cool, pick the meat off the bone in bite sized pieces.  Warm the picked lamb in some of the tomato mixture, toss with the lentils and garnish with the crumbled feta.  Serve in warmed bowls.

Olivata

Recipe Ingredients:
1. ½ cup - Castelvetrano olives (or any good green olive)
2. ½ cup - Taggiasca olives (or any good black olive with low brininess
3. 1 ea. - Red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and julienned
4. ½ ea. - Red onion, minced
5. 1 ea. - Garlic cloves
6. 1 Tbsp. Oregano
7. 2 Tbsps. - Red wine vinegar
8. 4 ea. Anchovies, salt packed, deboned and rinsed
9. 3 Tbsps. -  Extra virgin olive oil
10. ½   Tsp. - chili flakes
11. Salt & Pepper

Recipe Directions:
Finely mince the red onion and garlic and marinate in the vinegar for 10 minutes.  In a food processor, finely chop the green olives, then the black olives, and add to the onion.  Finely chop the oregano and add to the mixing bowl, along with the peppers.  Finally finely chop the anchovies and add them to the mixture.  Finish with the olive oil, chili flake and salt and pepper.