Hell's Kitchen's Chef Ja'Nel Witt Shares Her Top 5 Holiday Recipes

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  • Spice Rubbed Scallops with Chickpea, Blistered Tomato and Corn Succotash, Warm Garbanzo Puree Finished with Herb Oil
  • White Chocolate–Chai Pots de Crème’
  • Poached Pear and Fresh Blueberry Tart with Port Wine Caramel and Almond Cream
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi with Citrus Argentine Chimichurri and Charred Sweet Potatoes
  • Anise-Infused Lamb Shank with Tricolor Israeli Couscous, Dried Cranberries and Apples
  • Chef Ja'Nel Witt

Anise-Infused Lamb Shank With Tricolor Israeli Couscous, Dried Cranberries and Apples

This hearty dish calls on the spicy-sweet flavors of cinnamon, star anise and clove.

For the lamb shank:
3 lbs lamb shanks
8 oz onion, diced
4 oz celery, diced
4 oz carrot, diced
4 oz fennel, diced
4 oz tomato paste
4 qts brown stock
2 oz garlic, minced
4 oz dry red wine
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbs clove, whole
4 star anise, whole
Salt & pepper to taste

Procedure:
-Heat oven to 375 degrees.
-In large sauce pan, heat 2tbs oil over med-hi heat, season & sear lamb on all sides, remove and set aside.
-Reduce heat to medium, add onion, carrot, celery, and fennel 7-8 mins.
-Add garlic, anise, cinnamon, and clove, cook additional 3 mins.
-Add tomato paste and cook 5 mins.
-Deglaze with red wine, being sure to remove all browned bits from bottom of the pan.
-Add stock and seared lamb shanks; bring to a simmer.
-Remove from heat and transfer to oven. Braise for 3-4 hours or until lamb is tender.
-Remove meat, and strain braising liquid to sauce pan, reduce by half.
-Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for the couscous:
2 tbs olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous (tricolor)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1 green apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
-In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on med-high heat.
-Add the couscous, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes.
-Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, cook for 10-12 mins or until the liquid has evaporated.
-Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
-Add the thyme, mint, apple, dried cranberries, almonds, and olive oil. Toss to coat.
-Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

(Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ja'Nel Witt)

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