Soprito, Simmered Beef or Lamb with Potatoes with Variations

The soprito is a long, slow-cooking Sephardic dish of beef or lamb in water. The result is meat that is browned, soft, and almost falling apart. The accompanying potatoes are softly browned as well and infused with the tasty juices of the meat. But some say it’s an Italian dish! This dish and recipe is popular in Israel, so it appears here.

  • Com oil for deep frying
  • 3 lb (1.5 kg) shank of beef, shoulder of lamb, or chicken, cut into large pieces
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Bahar Mixture of Cutlets

  1. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy pot over a high heat and brown the meat on all sides.
  2. Add 1 ½ cups (375 ml) boiling water.
  3. Cover the pot and bring the water to a fresh boil.
  4. Lower the heat to the minimum so that the water barely simmers and cook for 2 hours, adding more boiling water if necessary.
  5. Peel the potatoes and cut into l-in ( 2.5-cm) cubes.
  6. Deep-fry them in another pan until they are golden.
  7. Season the meat with salt, pepper, and Bahar Mixture of Cutlets and add the fried potatoes.
  8. Continue to cook for another hour over low heat.

Slow Braised Lamb Shanks With Coratina and Malbec Wine Reduction

  • Four lamb shanks
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste four inch sprig of rosemary, woody stems discarded
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup Ultra Fresh, Ultra Premium Coratina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cups robust red wine such as Malbec
  • 1 cup water

This recipe can be made in a dutch oven or crock pot. 

  1. If using the oven, preheat to 300.
  2. In a wide shallow dish or a gallon size Ziplock bag, mix the flour, salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse and pat the lamb shanks dry and dredge in the flour.
  4. In a large heavy bottom pan, heat the Coratina over medium-high heat, and brown the lamb shanks until golden brown on all sides, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, cooking for about 5 minutes per side and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add all of the vegetables and saute over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits, until the onions are translucent, for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in the wine and simmer for another couple minutes and then add a cup of hot water.
  7. Add the fresh rosemary to the bottom of the crock pot or dutch oven and arrange the shanks on top.
  8. Pour the wine and vegetables over the top.
  9. Cook, covered in a heavy dutch oven for six hours or in a crock pot set on low.
  10. After six hours, carefully remove the shanks from from the liquid taking care not to allow the meat to slip off the bones.
  11. Cover to keep warm.
  12. Strain and de-fat the braising liquid.
  13. Place in a small saucepan and reduce by half.
  14. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
  15. Pour the reduction over the lamb shank placed atop a bed of mashed potatoes made with our fresh, UP, extra virgin olive oil.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Gremolata

Soprito Special with gremolata
Soprito Special with gremolata
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced 
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 3 carrots, cubed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 cups decent red wine
  • 1 bouquet garni (rosemary, bay leaves, thyme, parsley sage) whichever herbs you prefer, all of them would work in this dish.
  • 4 cups water
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 more clove of garlic
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soprito Special with gremolata
Soprito Special with gremolata
  1. Get your biggest, heaviest pot (it needs a tight fitting lid), coat the bottom with oil and place it on high heat.
  2. While that heats, preheat your oven to 375°F. Generously season the lamb shanks, I mean generously – they love salt.
  3. Once your oil is smoking or near smoking, place the shanks into the pot.
  4. Watch out for the oil splattering!
  5. Don’t turn them yet – don’t touch them for a while. 
  6. We are trying to get a delicious brown crust on the outside of these – this is what gives the depth and richness to the sauce and shanks.
  7. Wait about 3-4 minutes on each side. 
  8. Once they are browned all over, remove and place on a plate.
  9. Throw your onions into the hot pot that you just browned the shanks in.
  10. Reduce the heat to medium high.
  11. Add your celery and carrots and a bit of salt.
  12. Give them about 3 minutes and then add your garlic.
  13. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until they start to caramelize.
  14. You want, no – need, this caramelization.
  15. Add the tomato paste.
  16. The plan is to cook out the bitterness of the tomato paste before you build the sauce on it.
  17. So cook for about 5 minutes and watch the color change.
  18. Deglazing – add your delicious red wine.
  19. This is going to help you get all that caramelized vegetable and lamb off the bottom of your pot and flavoring your sauce.
  20. Reduce this wine to less than half.
  21. Now add your herb bundle (that sounds way less pretentious than ‘bouquet garni’).
  22. Put your shanks back in the pot and add your water to cover.
  23. Bring the pot to a simmer. Cover and place in the preheated oven for a very long time.  2 ½ to 3 hours should do it.
  24. Check on the pot every hour to make sure the shanks are still cover in liquid.
  25. If they are not, just add a bit more water.
  26. After 2 ½ to 3 hours the lamb should be just be pulling away from the bone.
  27. Remove the pot from the oven, remove the lamb from the pot and place on a baking sheet.
  28. Drizzle a bit of oil on the lamb and place in the oven.
  29. Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquid, saving the liquid – not the veggies.
  30. Place the liquid back in the pot and place on medium high heat.
  31. Start reducing the sauce.
  32. After about ½ hour take out the lamb shanks and turn off the burner.
  33. Let the lamb rest under tinfoil.

Make a gremolata. 

  1. This is just the lemon zest, garlic, salt and parsley chopped together.
  2. This stuff is serious flavor and will balance out that rich lamb and sauce.
  3. Place the shanks on a plate, pour some sauce over top and garnish with the gremolata.
Soprito Special with gremolata
Soprito Special with gremolata

1 Comment

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