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365 Challenge with Murdoch Books – Stéphane Reynauds Lamb Knuckles

November 22, 2010 5 Comments

I am so excited to announce that I am officially a part of the 365 Challenge along with the team at Murdoch books. What is this challenge and how did it all happen?… well sit back and let me tell you a little story and share with you the first of many amazing recipes by one of my favourite perisian chefs, Stéphane Reynaud.

Fashionably late, as most pregnant women are, my cousin left me looking for a way to kill time before the movie.  Luckily for me, there was a Borders book store just next door.  It’s easy to lose myself there, especially down the cookbook aisles. I was immediately struck by the title… ‘365 Good Reasons To Sit Down To Eat’.  I thought to myself, ‘I certainly don’t need any incentive to sit down and eat,’ but I was sure Stéphane Reynaud was going to take my food desire to a whole new level. As I turned the pages my mental recipe index was working over time, I knew this was a book I could not put back on the shelf.  I had to take it with me.

I sat on the steps at the entrance of Hoyts Cinemas and flicked through the book some more and a strange impulse came over me to Google ‘Stéphane Reynaud’ on my iPhone and there it was… ‘Stéphane Reynaud will be doing book signings to promote his book ‘365 Good Reasons To Sit Down To Eat’. Well, I was not going to miss that.  And as luck would have it, he would be doing one locally to me. So I organised a baby sitter and with book and camera in hand on a very rainy day I went to meet the Parisian chef I admire so much.

Arriving, not knowing what to expect I was so hoping Reynaud would have a few moments for a chat. He and his publicist were very generous with their time. He expressed how much he admires the Australian cuisine, its diversity and its ability to be flexible and creative. I often wonder where amazing chefs like Reynaud reinvent themselves, as in the cuisine they cook,  Is a Coq au vin just a Coq au vin? Well, that’s like saying that one love song is like all others. Every artist needs inspiration and perhaps it is through journeys like this, where artists explore something different that in turn magically inspires them to reinvent the paradigm of their craft and a whole new page in cooking history is created.

I was so excited to be speaking to him. I asked if he could choose a recipe I would cook to accompany this post. He chose 14 November. In this book Reynaud presents a recipe for every day of the year.

I am excited and honored to be helping Murdoch books take up Stéphanes 365 day challenge. Over the next few months I will be blogging 1 recipe per month from Stéphanes book which will be published on the Murdoch Books Blog and the The Foodie Goddess site. A huge thank you to Shannon for suggesting I participate along with the gang at Murdoch books.

Lamb Knuckles

Not only is this recipe super easy to prepare, it is an impressive meal for any level cook to share with friends. I invited my best mate Vanessa over to share this first Reynaud installment. The taste of this dish was full yet grounded in its simple flavors that worked together like the philharmonic orchestra, or in this case more aptly the Orchestre National de France.

When you open the casserole the first thing that hits you is the wonderful aroma that the wine and stock have bought out in the shanks. The meat was tender and juicy, it fell off the bone, and once in your mouth you couldn’t help but let the gorgeous flavors and delicate textures wash over you. It melted in our mouths. Comfort food as its best.

Recipe for 14th November – ‘Lamb Knuckles’


  • 4 onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 200 g mushrooms
  • 6 hind shanks
  • 300 g dried white beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 ml red wine
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • Water (if needed)

How to

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Peel and slice the onions and garlic, snip the chives. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into quarters. Arrange the shanks in a flameproof casserole dish with lid and add all the other ingredients, then season well. Don’t be scared to use salt here, there are 6 shanks in there after all.

Cover, place in the oven and cook for 3  hours. I recommend you check it every hour to ensure that the shanks are still covered with liquid. If needed top up with water.

And Voila….

If you are every in Paris go and check out Stéphanes restaurant Villa 9Trois which is about 10 km out of Paris. A big regret of mine was not going there last time I was in Paris.

Naturally I couldn’t leave without a photo! ‘Say cheese..’ or should I say… fromage? hehe

Bon appetite.

Read a copy of this and other 365 Challenge posts at http://blog.murdochbooks.com.au/365-challenge/

Tags: , , , , , 365 Challenge, 365 Good Reasons To Sit Down To Eat, Murdock Books, Stéphane Reynaud, Stéphane Reynaud, Uncategorized

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