Friday, July 19, 2019

Fox Trot Farm - to - Table Recipe (and tour): American Lamb Shanks


While doing an online exploration of Lancaster County, South Carolina last month, Doug came across a place called Fox Trot Farm not far from our home. What drew him to this farm was the fact that they raise lamb for their meat. According to the website, the owners raise ‘a breed of meat sheep known as “hair sheep” due to their ability to shed their coats in the spring and summer. Their meat is lean, mild, and tender.’
Sheep and baby lambs roam at Fox Trot Farm
In addition to sheep, Fox Trot Farm has goats (their milk is used to make soap which is sold on the farm), a donkey, a pig, livestock guardian dogs, and chickens for their farm-fresh eggs. 
Freshly laid eggs! These are NOT dyed; it's their natural color.
There’s an apiary for their honeybees, too. The honey is harvested in June and the extra beeswax is melted for use in soaps. Honey is for sale as it becomes available.

Farmer Bob Burgess and his wife Debbie, a warm and welcoming couple, own and operate the farm. It's open only on Sundays between 1-5 PM, weather permitting. 
Farmer Bob getting ready to take a group on a tour in the hay wagon.
Bob takes visitors on a tour in the hay wagon pulled by his tractor, while Debbie runs the store, among many other things.

Doug and I chose to walk the grounds in order to hang out with the farm animals; it was pretty neat!

We’d hoped to be bringing home a variety of lamb cuts that day but discovered their lamb production isn’t until September. You can bet-your-boots we’ll be heading back then.
Rack of Lamb for sale at the Farm, when available
I was particularly happy to learn that the Burgess' favorite recipes are posted on their website, including the following one for Lamb Shanks.

As soon as lamb products are available, we'll return to Fox Trot Farm, to purchase the shanks and other cuts. We'll have a lamb-fest – and report back to you!

Here’s Debbie and Bob’s special Lamb Shank recipe …
Fox Trot Farm Braised Lamb Shanks

Fox Trot Farm Braised Lamb Shanks
Makes 2 hearty servings
Ingredients:
1 package Fox Trot Farm Lamb Shanks (2 shanks, about 1 ½ lbs.)
Flour, salt, and pepper
2 tablespoons bacon drippings or olive or canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, or chicken broth
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
-Defrost, rinse and dry lamb shanks.
-Liberally dust with flour, salt, and pepper.
-Heat oil in Dutch oven till shimmering. Do not burn.
-Brown shanks on all sides in hot oil, turning as the meat becomes deep brown. (Important for richer flavor to not skip this step.)
-Remove browned shanks to plate.
-Add chopped vegetables to the pan drippings and sauté till they start to soften.
-Add garlic, thyme, and tomato paste and stir till combined with vegetables.
-Pour 1 cup wine (or chicken broth), and remaining broth into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
-Add bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. (I go light on the pepper and let folks add more to their plate when served.)
-Return shanks to the Dutch oven and nestle them down into the vegetables and broth.
-Tightly cover and turn heat down to low simmer. Braise, turning every 20 minutes or so, for 2 hours or until the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender.
-Serve over rice, potatoes, noodles, or just in a bowl with the broth and sop up all that delicious broth with crusty bread or rolls.
-One shank is a perfect portion for each person.

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