Lamb Cupcakes


  • 4 lamb shanks

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) all purpose flour

  • 7 tbsp canola oil, divided

  • 2 onions, chopped, divided

  • 2 each carrots and stalks celery, sliced

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock

  • Half bottle dry red wine

  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 1 beet, roasted and peeled

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) 35% whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter

  • 8 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 eggs



Season lamb with salt and pepper and coat in flour. In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the oil over medium high heat; add lamb shanks and sear all sides, about two minutes per side. Remove to roasting pan and wipe out skillet.

Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Sauté one of the onions, carrots and celery and half of the garlic until they just begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add chicken stock, stirring and bring to the boil. Pour over lamb shanks and add wine. Sprinkle with half of the rosemary and thyme. Cover with foil and braise in 300 F (160 C) oven for 3 1/2 hours, uncover and cook until lamb is browned and fall off the bone tender, about 30 minutes. Remove lamb shanks and pull meat off the bones; reserve meat. Strain braising juices and separate the fat from the juices.

Transfer juices to a small pot and simmer and reduce by about three quarters until it is a thick demi-glaze; set aside.

Steam potatoes over boiling water until very tender, about 15 minutes. Using a ricer or food mill, mash potatoes. In heatproof bowl, blend potatoes with cream, butter, and season to taste with salt. Using fine side of a grater; grate 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the beet and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) of oil over medium heat and caramelize remaining onion and garlic until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes; set aside.

Stem remaining rosemary and thyme and chop finely. In large bowl, mix lamb meat, 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the demi glaze, onion mixture, bread crumbs, eggs and rosemary and thyme.

Line a muffin tin with 8 paper liners. With cooking spray, generously spray interior of liners. Spoon lamb mixture into liners. Bake in 300 F (160 C) until cakes are fully set, yet still moist, about 14 minutes.

Reheat potatoes by covering the bowl with aluminum foil and placing it over a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. When potatoes are hot, blend in grated beet until shockingly pink. Use a piping bag or a knife to ice the lamb cupcakes with the potato mixture. Serve any remaining demi glaze with the cupcakes.

If you made it to this point, nice work!

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