When I think of the Braised Lamb Shank, I have visions of melt in your mouth deliciousness. A perfectly cured and seasoned piece of meat that evokes a memory of a far away place in a land of magic and mystery…..sigh
Food can do that to you, it can remember things you’ve things, things you’ve read and things you’ve only dreamed of.
While staying at the O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina, I had the opportunity to speak with Chef Leigh Hesling and he was kind enough to invite me into his kitchen at the Green Valley Grill for a private tasting of his Legendary Braised Lamb Shank. (Chef Leigh graciously offered his recipe so you can try this dish in your own home, you’ll find it at the end of my post)
Since 2005, Leigh Hesling has been the Executive Chef of both Print Works Bistro and Green Valley Grill. Owing to his mantra of “nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor,” you will often see him at the farmers market or transporting fresh vegetables.
Having a restaurant of this caliber attached to the O.Henry Hotel makes it a great spot for travelers to get amazing meals. But it isn’t just about the hotel guests, this restaurant has a loyal local following that loves the dishes that Chef Leigh serves at The Green Valley Grill as well as their sister restaurant Print Works Bistro.
The bar area of the restaurant is a great place to unwind after a busy day and you’ll find a lively crowd there every evening for happy hour and appetisers.
What really sets the O’Henry apart from other hotels is their friendly and professional staff. They’re serious about Southern Hospitality and go out of their way to make you feel welcome and at home during your stay.
The O.Henry Lobby is where you’ll find many of the guests throughout the day.
Taking tea in O.Henry’s Social Lobby has become a Greensboro tradition. In fact, it’s so popular that they’ve expanded the hours. Serving tea Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12 Noon–5 PM, Monday – Wednesday, 2–5 PM and Thursday 2-3:30 PM.
Every Thursday you can enjoy vintage craft cocktails and delightful Mediterranean tapas (see the menu) garnished with live American jazz standards from 5:30 – 8:30 PM. They even take requests, I asked for Cole Porter’s Begin the Biguine which they performed masterfully.
The rooms at the O.Henry are well appointed with a sofa, desk, tv and a very comfortable bed. In fact, it was so comfortable I slept till 8 am every morning!
But I did have to get up so I could make my way down to a delicious breakfast buffet that is served each and every morning at the O.Henry.
So I guess you can tell from my post that I enjoyed my stay in Greensboro and the O.Henry Hotel. Next trip I’ll have to try their sister hotel the Proximity.
- 6 lamb shanks
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 6 tablespoons Moroccan Spice Blend (see recipe)
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 ½ tablespoons onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 6 Lamb Shank Cure (see recipe)
- 1 ½ chopped yellow onions
- 4 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 6 tablespoons canola/ olive oil blend
- 3 cups dry sherry
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 7 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 4 cups lamb shank braising liquid
- 2 cups chickpeas (canned garbanzo beans)
- ¼ ounce chopped cilantro
- Rub shanks with garlic and the spice blend.
- Lay shanks in a pan and pack with salt.
- Allow to sit for 24 hours.
- Remove from pan and dust off the excess salt.
- Combine well and store in an airtight container.
- Makes: 12 tablespoons
- Heat oil in a large pan and sear the shanks on all sides.
- Remove shanks and add garlic; sauté until golden.
- Add onions and caramelize. Deglaze the pan with sherry and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and red sauce. Add shanks to the liquid and simmer for about 2 hours or until tender. Remove shanks and reserve the braising liquid.
- In a sauce pot, heat braising liquid.
- Add chickpeas and heat through.
- Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro.
- 6 shanks, Lamb Shank Braising (see recipe)
- 6 cups Tomato Chickpea Ragoût
- Heat ragoût and place in 6 serving bowls.
- Place shank over ragoût.
To learn more about what you can do in Greensboro read the post about my visit.