Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Shank-Off 2011! Today we have the all-time favorite pork shank going leg to leg against the tried and true lamb shank. The name of the game today is braising and we are anticipating a great match!
Supporting both contenders in this competition are the basic mirepoix components: carrots, celery, and onion. And providing additional aromatics to the game are garlic and shallots.
Thyme, parsley, rosemary, and bay have gladly accepted the request to participate today as well.
And… what’s this? Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have some surprise guests in the kitchen today! Joining the lamb shank is an organic California Cabernet Sauvignon and winking in the pork shank’s direction is an organic Washington Chardonnay! This is unbelievable folks! Anything can happen here at Shank-Off 2011.
So let the games begin!
Both shanks are off to a great start with a quick season and sear.
It looks like there is a substitution happening. The shanks are coming out and the veggies are going in!
The mirepoix, garlic, and shallot are getting sweaty and soft. It sure is smelling good over here folks!
Now it looks as though the Cabernet is making its presence known…
And the Chardonnay is following right behind!
And now, after just minutes of reducing, the shanks are back in the game! And it looks like the herbs and some chicken stock will be getting in on the action as well!
Now ladies and gentlemen, the officials have called for half time. During this break each contender will have two hours to get as tender and juicy as possible and extract as much flavor as they can from the additional components in the pot. The meat will be rotated periodically but other than that, the lid will remain on and the liquid bubbling at a gentle simmer. You don’t want to miss what happens next so stay tuned!
Click the link below to see what happens next!
And welcome back to Shank-Off 2011, where the lamb is really making some great progress…
And the pork is really giving the lamb a good run for its money…
At this time standard Shank-Off procedure states that the judges will now remove the meat, strain the liquid and discard the solids, then put the liquid in the refrigerator to allow the fat to settle.
Alright folks, it looks like the fat has settled and will now be skimmed off the braising liquid.
We are getting close to the final moments of this competition! I can really feel the suspense in the kitchen and taste the meat in the air. However some crucial steps still remain. The shanks need to be heated through again and the braising liquid must be reduced. It is still any shanks game folks!
The lamb shank has joined the braising liquid in the pot…
And the pork shank has followed suit!
Minutes feel like hours at this point and the judges are famished. And…wait! What is this? It looks as though, yes, they are done ladies and gentleman! The aroma in here says it all folks. This is going to be a close one!
The lamb shank achieved a rich and flavorful look…
While the pork shank went for a more succulent, fall-off-the-bone appearance.
Both shanks look and smell excellent. The judges sure do have their work cut out for them today! Who will win Shank-Off 2011? Will it be the Chardonnay braised pork shank from Lopez Island? Or the Cabernet braised lamb shank from Shepherd’s Pride? The suspense is just too much for me folks! It looks like…yes! The judges have a winner!
And the winner of Shank-Off 2011 is…