I love risotto. When I found out that I could make it using Norwegian ingredients, I was so happy. And when I discovered how only a bit of white wine lifted this meal to a rather sophisticated dish while still being distinctively Norwegian, I was very proud!
I serve it with lamb shanks, which is some of the toughest meat you can get, unless you slow cook it in the oven. I get my butcher to cut each shank in slices, which have many advantages. Firstly, cutting it extends the surface, allowing a more widespread caramelization and thus better flavor. Secondly, it takes a shorter time to cook it, and it’s easier to serve in smaller pieces.
For the lamb shanks: Preheat the oven to 300 Fahrenheit (150 Celsius). Place the shanks in a large ovenproof dish. Drizzle with syrup, season with salt. Stick bay leafs and rosemary in between the meat. Place in the oven and bake for 2 hours. Make sure the dish does not run dry. If so, add a dash of water. Let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.
For the risotto: Heat the chicken stock in a small pot over medium high heat. When almost boiling, reduce temperature to medium low. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium high heat until completely melted and foamy, but not brown. Add shallots and garlic, and let it simmer for 1 minute. Add barley, rutabaga and wine, and stir well. When the wine almost has evaporated, add boiling chicken stock, little by little. Let simmer for 35 minutes, or until the barley is tender. Stir now and then, and do not let it boil dry. Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan. Serve right away.