Recipe Changes for One

You may recall that I had a lovely Christmas dinner following the Braised Ham Shanks recipe to the letter. One small problem, it yielded too, too much in the way of left overs for one person. So I decided to revise the recipe just a bit. I like more veggies in my meals so I increased those. I also wanted more control over the amount of starches so I'm keeping the rice separate. If you chose to use dumplings, they're cooked on top of the stew. I used Dot's Chicken and Dumpling Stew as a format to follow

I like beans, but prefer them in soups, salads or Cuban/Mexican dishes, so I eliminated them. Also, since I wasn't feeding growing children or a lot of people, I didn't feel the need to increase the protein with the rice and beans (which, I think, is what happens with the original recipe). Again, remember, I'm not at all that familiar with food chemistry. I just figured my body would thank me for adding more vegetables. I still may alter this recipe a wee bit more. One thing for sure, the smoked ham shank "makes" the recipe utterly delicious! This is what I have so far:

1  3/4 to 2 pound smoked ham shank (whole or cracked)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
32 ounces (or more if desired to cover ingredients) chicken stock
2 onions, peeled and cut in quarters
3-4 carrots, cut in chunks
3-5 celery stalks, cut in chunks
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or rough cut

1 c. half and half
1 c. combo of ham broth cooled with ice cubes to make 1 cup
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. poultry seasoning
2 cups cooked basmati white or brown rice OR Bisquick dumplings
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add olive oil to a large oven proof pot with a lid (preferably a dutch oven at least 6 quarts in size or 5.5 liters) over medium high heat.  Once hot, add onions, cook till translucent then add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add celery and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes. 

Add the ham shank to the pot and pour in chicken stock. Season with black pepper and a pinch of salt (remember the shank has a lot of salt).  Bring to a low boil, cover and place in the oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 2-1/2 hours or until the meat is fork tender and falling off the bone.

Remove pork from the pan and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, strain the vegetables from the stock and return stock to pot.  Take 2/3 c. of ham broth from pot and add enough ice cubes to cool and make 1 cup liquid. In a small sauce pan, whisk half and half, broth, flour and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil while whisking, reduce heat and simmer, whisking frequently, 2-4 minutes or until thickened. Slowly stir into stock in pot and bring to a boil, while whisking. 

Return vegetables to the Dutch oven. Remove ham from the bones, chop into bite size pieces, return to pot and heat through. Taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper as needed. Again, take it easy on the salt, you can always add more vs. removing it!

For rice:  Cook per directions on package
For dumplings:  Make per instructions on the Bisquick box.
Place a scoop of rice or a dumpling or two on each plate, top with the ham, stew juices and vegetables.  Serve.

Any thoughts on improving what I've got so far would be much appreciated.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home