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Mar 6, 2008 10:01 AM

I need another side: Main Dish Lamb Shanks

Could someone recommend another side to round out my menu.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Mint (Molly Stevens recipe)
Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan
Side #2 ?????

Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake
Various Custards

This is going to be dinner for my mom the first week of April so I do have time. I would like something seasonal and fairly simple. I'd prefer not to do a green salad or another green side.

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  1. I'm thinking starch, most likely pasta, more specifically, orzo. Some sauteed tricolored bell peppers with onions would be simple enough and pretty. If you can get the colored orzo even better. I did see a package of "Black and White Tie Orzo" the other day but didn't buy it. You could do that with sauteed wild mushrooms, or sub fusilli or a tubular pasta for the orzo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rednails

      I second the orzo, but I suggest an orzo "risotto." Made one last night by first browning about 1/3 of the total amount of orzo (I was cooking for one), a little garlic, and some mushrooms in olive oil, then add the other 2/3 of the orzo and then chicken stock in the standard add/stir risotto method until the orzo is plump, al dente, and in a very glutinous sauce. Adjust seasonings if needed. Present with a scattering of minced parsley. Had it with lamb chops. As the saying goes, "A marriage made in heaven."

    2. IMO, nothing goes with lamb shanks better than white beans! Here is a recipe from epicurious (the bean recipe is under the shank recipe):

      1. Not seasonal, but with all that yummy sauce I'd like something to mop it up--mashed potatoes, simply buttered noodles. Seasonal, but not as good at mopping would be a shell bean ragout or puree, or even Tuscan beans

        4 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          I have recently been using Israli CousCous with my lamb shanks and it is a huge hit. Very different from regular couscous

          1. re: Analisas mom

            Analisas mom, What is Israli Couscous?

          2. re: JoanN

            I agree. If you want a twist on mashed potatoes, how about something like parsnip puree? Maybe with some green garlic to make it more "seasonal"?

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              parsnip puree is what came to my mind too, or a parsnip custard.

          3. Another suggestion is for a nice polenta- either soft or pan-fried rounds/triangles. It's not really 'seasonal', but it will definitely help with absorbing some of the braising juices.

            6 Replies
              1. re: 4Snisl

                This is what I serve with that same lamb shank recipe. Love the two together, even more than potatoes or white beans. Yes. I have tried every variation imaginable and keep coming back to polenta.

                1. re: smtucker

                  I love polenta with this too but recently had a craving for couscous with lamb shanks and it was wonderful ( and no work at all!)

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    The oven polenta method means easy! If you don't have a link to this chow thread, I will post it.

                  2. re: smtucker

                    Polenta with garlic, thyme and plenty of parmesan and a bit of butter. Heaven with lamb!

                    servings for four takes about 15 minutes in the microwave, just stir it about 5 times inthe last 5 minutes to develope the glutin and create the creaminess. Cheese and butter go in last stir.
                    4 or 5 to one ratio water to polenta, high power.

                2. The standard Greek restaurant accompaniments for lamb are green beans and thick-sliced roasted new potatoes with plenty of garlic. I agree that you need something to soak up the juices, such as orzo or rice. Kasha and lamb will stand up to each other quite well. Tiny French Puy lentils would also be fine.

                  1 Reply