Warming Trend

Forest Grill’s Nick Janutol spices up a braised lamb shank
Photographs by Joe Vaughn

Nick Janutol, who attended Grosse Pointe North High and Wayne State University before heading off to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., warmed up for his job as the executive chef at the re-imagined Forest Grill in Birmingham with stints at restaurants in New York and Chicago. “I love this recipe because there’s nothing better than braised meats in the bitter cold of winter,” he says, adding that his favorite place to find great domestic lamb shanks is at Fairway Packing in Eastern Market. —Molly Abraham


Spiced Lamb Shank with Couscous (serves 4)


4 lamb shanks
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon cumin, cracked
1 tablespoon coriander, cracked
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked
2 tablespoons paprika
2 cups red wine
1 cup honey
2 quarts chicken or lamb stock



Sear the lamb shanks in oil on all sides to achieve an even golden brown color on the meat. Remove the meat from the pan, turn the heat on low, and add tomato paste and spices. Cook paste down until it achieves a “rusty” look and the oil separates out. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Reduce the wine by half then add the honey and reduce this liquid until it begins to form unified bubbles. Add the shanks back to the pan and add chicken stock. Place in a 350 F oven and cook until fork tender (3-4 hours). Let the lamb rest for 30 minutes in the braising liquid before serving. It should have a nice lacquer on it.



1 cup couscous
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons red onion
1 serrano chili
1 quart water, boiling
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar



In a bowl, combine couscous, cumin, paprika, coriander, onion, and serrano chili. Add boiling water to cover. Cover bowl and let stand. After 10 minutes, uncover and stir in the herbs and vinegar with a fork. Adjust seasoning with salt. Serve immediately.