Braised lamb shank featured on [email protected]'s new food segment

by Caroline J. Howard, ANC

Posted at Aug 03 2010 04:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2010 12:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines - [email protected] has taken on a new look. It relaunched this week with new host Paolo Abrera joining mainstays Ron Cruz, Gigi Grande and Ginger Conejero.

TJ Manotoc, on the other hand, joins Ces Drilon on The Rundown on weekday nights.

One of [email protected] new offerings is a food segment called "Taste Buds," which features some of the country's most sought-after chefs and their latest food creations.'s

"Taste Buds" launched its first episode on Tuesday, August 3. It featured Katre Mediterranean Restaurant's proprietor Chef Roxs Cailao whipping up his latest creation: Braised Lamb Shank.

Katre specializes in Mediterranean fusion cuisine. It has closely kept to a selection of favorite dishes since it first opened on Sct. Rallos Street, Quezon City on September 11, 2002. Now on Dr. Lazcano Street (behind Alfredo's on Tomas Morato Street), it continues to offer a vibrant selection of dishes for both new and loyal patrons.

Braised Lamb Shank is Chef Cailao's newest addition to Katre's menu. He admitted, since its introduction in July, the dish has been "running like crazy."

"It's a man-sized meal that's very tender. You don't need a knife. All you need is a fork to eat it," said Cailao who cited the dish's unique flavor for its growing popularity. "You can't substitute anything for lamb. Sometimes there are dishes with a lot of spices that you can mistake for pork or something like that pero pag lamb talagang distinct 'yung taste niya."

Instead of using mutton, Chef Cailao uses spring lamb--a young lamb between 3 to 6 months old for the dish.

To bring out the flavor of the lamb meat, Cailao uses spices and herbs like garlic, rosemary, curry and cumin.

He also enhances the dish with a glass of red wine. And he recommends that the dish also be enjoyed with a glass of cabernet on the side.

Step by step slow cooking

Showing us how its done, Chef Cailao began by marinating the lamb shank for 30 minutes in an adobo mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. In a pan greased with olive oil, he seared the lamb to remove the 'anggo,' lamb's distinct meat smell and taste, allowing it to brown on all sides. Then he added garlic, onion, rosemary, cayenne, cumin, and curry.

Wine is added next, and Chef Cailao allowed the wine to bring out the meat's full flavor. After 5 minutes, he added the tomato puree, then the chicken or veal stock to neutralize the taste.

He tossed in the marinate sauce with the bay leaf and all the spices that went with it. It is then cooked over low heat for 3 to 5 hours until the meat is so tender, it almost falls off the bone.

Into the pot went some olive oil, then he sauteed chopped onion, red and green pepper. Chef Cailao then added a dash of pepper, salt, stock, sugar, then orso--a rice-shaped pasta, allowing it to absorb the flavor.

Once the orso, lamb, and the sauce were done, Chef Cailao placed the lamb on a bed of orso, poured some sauce over the meat and drizzled honey mustard over the meat. A rosemary sprig for a touch of art went on top.

Aside from the lamb, the orso is another point of interest in this dish.

"The orso really goes with it," Chef Cailao said. "It's like a conversational piece. It's pasta that looks like rice."

Chef Cailao said it has been a rewarding experience so far.

"It exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect the lamb to be so popular, and not just with the guys, but even the ladies are ordering it and coming back for it," he said bemusedly. The dish is not just for lamb lovers, he added.

"It's for everybody. And for people who had a bad experience with lamb, a taste of the Braised Lamb might just change the perception."

While this man-sized meal is sure to satisfy healthy appetites, people used to having smaller portions can also opt to share it.

Mushroom Soup, Onion Soup, Seafood Bass, Roast Chicken with Pasta, and Grilled Rib-eye Steak are among Katre's other house favorites. Katre's signature Shrimp Gambas also has a loyal foodie following.

Katre Mediterranean Restaurant is at 103 Dr. Lascano St., Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Tel. No. (02) 373-4705