I love a dish that basically cooks itself, has mouth-watering flavors and fills the kitchen with wonderful aromas. Slow Braised Lamb Shanks are simmered in red wine with garlic and fresh herbs. The rich braising liquid becomes a delicious jus that creates meat that is moist and so tender that it literally falls off the bone.
Slow Braised Lamb Shanks
Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
- 1 lamb shank per person, about 1 to 1 1/4 lb. each
- salt and pepper
- oil for browning
- one onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 c. red wine
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 1 celery stalk, cut in several pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into several pieces
- 2 c. beef broth
- 1 c. water
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 2 or 3 branches of fresh thyme
- 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 or four strips of lemon peel
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. anchovy paste
Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the lamb shanks and brown well on all sides. Remove to a plate.
In the same pot, add the onions and cook until soft and just starting to brown. Add the red wine and stir, scraping up all the browned bits. Simmer the wine until it is reduced by half. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Put the shanks back into the pot, cover and place in the oven. Braise for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours (depending on the size of the shanks), turning half way through, until the meat is tender.
Remove the pot from the oven, carefully remove shanks to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid into a fat separator and let stand for a few minutes. Slowly pour the liquid back into the pot, leaving the accumulated fat behind. Simmer until the liquid has thickened to a sauce like consistency. Taste for additional seasoning.
Slow braised lamb shanks is a dish that is perfect for fall, winter and on into spring. I served the savory lamb shanks with a little of the jus that had an incredible depth of flavor. I then topped them with a traditional gremolata of lemon zest and fresh chopped mint. For side dishes, I prepared lemon orzo and slow cooked green beans and tomatoes.
The braised lamb shanks are slow food at its best and reminds me of what I might enjoy in a Greek taverna. Other side dishes that would go well would be rosemary roasted potatoes, rice, or a purée of white beans perhaps served with a tomato and feta salad, sautéed zucchini or if it is springtime, fresh peas with mint.
You might also enjoy…Lamb Stew For An Autumn Night