The Mercury has been serving some of Dallas’ best dishes in New American cuisine for almost 20 years. Captained by executive chef, Chris Ward, a recipient of numerous accolades over his extensive career, The Mercury delivers with swank and pomp in the friendliest of fashions. And while the menu changes with a regular rotation of updated, modern fare, there are some staples that make The Mercury a signature establishment of consistent, fine dining. One of those beloved items is the Braised Lamb Shank. The excellence of this dish is in its simplicity, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.
And so, if you plan on preparing this dish, you’ll want the right wine to uplift and complement the braised lamb’s salty, unctuous qualities. For this, we recommend a red blend of somewhat lighter body. One great place to start is with the Ermitage du pic Saint Loup (AOP Pic Saint Loup). This highlights some aspects of garrigue, which refers to the variety of herbs that grow wild on limestone in the Languedoc region. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme and juniper are some examples and those subtleties pair quite well with lamb. Also, if you mention garrigue during your dinner you’ll certainly impress the pants off everyone and cement your status as a true connoisseur. You’ll also just look cool. For another option, try the Jeff Carrel Red Blend “Les Darons” (AOP Languedoc). “Les Darons” is a truly elegant red blend with notes of black cherry and herb that will also pair exquisitely with the lamb. And now you’re fully equipped for dinner and libations. As for the rest, that’s up to you. We believe in you.
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Mercury Braised Lamb Shank
8 (2/3-inch) pieces lamb shank
½ cup mirepoix (mixture of equal parts uncooked chopped carrots, celery, and onion)
2 cups veal stock
1 cup water
1 tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400˚.
Place a large, heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Season the lamb shank on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pot. When the oil begins to smoke, place the lamb in the pan and brown on both sides. Discard the excess oil. Add the mirepoix to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the veal stock and water to the pot. Bring to a simmer.
Place the pot in the preheated oven and cook for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the lamb is soft to the touch. Remove the cooked lamb from the pan. Strain the cooking liquid into a small pot. Reduce the cooking liquid by half. Skim the excess grease from the sauce. Spoon the reduced sauce over the lamb and serve.