TC Recipe: Cumin Scented Lamb Shank Risotto

May 15 2011

By Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny
Suggested Pairing: 2008 NxNW Columbia Valley Tower Club Cuvée
Serves 2


While tasting the cuvée my first thought was to pair cumin against the molasses and jam notes of this wine. This wine pairs very nicely with rich flavors without being too hot on the nose and finish. The red wine risotto in this dish comes out a bright red and enriches the flavor connection between the food and wine. Adding steamed broccoli, green beans, or asparagus to this dish would be a nice accompaniment to the richness and add a lovely contrast to the red color.


  • 2 each lamb shank
  • 1 C blended olive oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 C water
  • 5 C chicken stock
  • 5 T butter
  • ½ C onion, minced
  • 1 ½ C Arborio rice
  • 1 C red wine
  • ½ C parmesan, freshly shaved
  • 2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • Salt and Pepper


Lamb: Add the water and lamb shanks into a deep baking dish, sprinkling lamb with salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Pour the oil over the lamb. Cover with foil and place in a 400 degree oven for 3 hours. You want the lamb to fall off the bone.

Risotto: Heat the chicken stock in a small pot. In another pot sweat the onion in the butter over low heat. Add the Arborio rice and stir for 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Add the red wine and stir slowly to incorporate, allowing the wine to reduce. Next add the chicken stock one cup at a time while continuously stirring. When the rice is tender add the cumin and the parmesan and stir to incorporate.

Plating: Scoop the risotto into a bowl. Pick the lamb from the bone and place on top. Finish with a good quality sea salt and a nice olive oil. Enjoy.