Indo-Italian fusion feast

Gaurav Anand

It’s been 18 years since I started my journey in the culinary industry. I grew up in a family of medical professionals. I, too, was pressured into joining the field but something told me that I should do something that makes me happy. 

Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, my first culinary experience started in New Delhi. I also worked with a few other hotels after that and worked abroad too. Having worked in a few kitchens by now, I realised that Italian cuisine is what I wanted to pursue. 

My exposure to European cuisine only grew since then. When I came back to India, I worked for an Italian restaurant in Pune. Unfortunately, it closed its doors to the customers recently. 

Thanks to my travels and knowledge in the cuisine, I am thrilled to experiment with ingredients. Something that  I have developed recently is the fusion of Italian and Indian concepts. Keep the base of the contemporary Italian dish but also add an Indian touch to it to give it a new twist. 

So you’d find dishes like duck prepared in South Indian flavours but then made into a ravioli or a Bisibele bath that has a risotto appearance to it. Working as the executive chef at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, I realised that customers want to try something different. 

These are people who have travelled the world and had authentic dishes. Now they want something that would surprise their palates. That’s when dishes like these become a hit. 

That’s also why I love Italian food, especially from the Northern part of Italy. I love the varieties of cheese and fusion versions available there. It helps chefs like me also experiment with food. 

Today’s recipe, ‘Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks’, is a crowd favourite. You can make it at home even though it’s a long process. It’s important that it is slowly braised to complete the dish. You have to have it with the sauce which consists of all the root vegetables like carrots, onions, leeks and celery. It’s a wholesome and hearty meal that you will thoroughly enjoy.  

 


Braised Lamb Shanks

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp
  • Lamb shanks, 4 (200 gm each)
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic cloves, peeled, 5
  • Medium carrots, sliced 1/4 thick, 2  
  • Medium celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick, 2
  • Large onion, coarsely chopped, 1
  • One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Bay leaves, 3
  • Peppercorns, 12

Method

  • Transfer the lamb shanks to an ovenproof serving dish.
  • Using a fine sieve, strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids. Boil the braising liquid over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper and pour about 1/2 cup over the lamb shanks; keep the remaining sauce warm.
  • Cover the lamb shanks with foil and reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve the lamb shanks with the remaining sauce, the maple-glazed root vegetables and the braised red cabbage.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large enamelled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil.
  • Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and brown them on three sides over moderately high heat, about 4 minutes per side.
  • Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onion to the casserole.
  • Add the red wine and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Add the water and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the bay leaves and peppercorns.
  • Cover the casserole tightly and transfer to the oven. Braise the lamb shanks, turning once, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until very tender.
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