We made these braised lamb shanks in school last night. They were amazing! I had to share this recipe for you to make for Valentine’s Day. I know I am going to make them for my husband tomorrow. They are surprisingly not too hard to pull together. You just need a little time for them to cook (about 2 hours or so) but it’s inactive cooking time. As in, after a little prep time, you can do your thing (whatever that is) and let the lamb shanks do their thing in the oven (whatever they need to do to get fall-of-the-bone tender and turn into absolute deliciousness) without your interference.
Braising is a cooking method used for tougher cuts of meat. It is impressive how a little acid (think tomato paste), liquid (wine and stock) and time can turn tough cuts of meat (lamb shanks, osso bucco, short ribs, etc.) into some of the most desirable dishes. It is one of my favorite cooking methods as it produces very tender and extremely flavorful results due to the time the ingredients in each dish are given to develop and combine together. I also love the sauce the meat is served with for dipping.
This dish would be great with a toasted Schar baguette on the side and maybe even some sweet potatoes wedged, seasoned with salt, pepper and brown sugar and roasted at 425 degrees for 20 minutes per side until slightly browned, like these.
The lamb shanks and sweet potatoes followed by these berries in chocolate…I’d say you have one impressive and delicious celiac and allergy-friendly Valentine’s Day dinner! Enjoy!
P.S. This is in lieu of my Foodie Friday post. See you next week!
- 2 lamb shanks, cross cut into 2" pieces (ask your butcher to do this)
- salt and pepper to season
- canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan
- ½ onion, chopped coarsely
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 7 juniper berries, lightly smashed
- 1 T tomato paste
- 6 oz red wine
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 16 oz veal stock
- 1 tsp minced rosemary
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and place 5 qt saute pan (with straight sides) or Le Cruset over med-high heat on stovetop
- Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper
- Coat bottom of pan with canola oil and allow to get hot. Season lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and reserve.
- Place onion, carrot, celery and juniper berries in the same pan you used to brown the lamb shanks and allow to caramelize slightly (edges can brown a little). Add tomato paste and continue to cook for additional 2-3 minutes.
- Pour wine into pan and scrape up browned bits from the bottom to incorporate them into the flavor of the sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce the wine by ½.
- Return lamb shanks to the pan, add rosemary sprig and veal stock. Boil, cover with lid or aluminum foil and place on the middle rack in the oven. Cook until tender (meat just about to fall off of the bone). This should take about 2 hours. Start checking about 1½ hours after cooking.
- Remove pan from the oven and take the lamb shanks out of the liquid. Strain the liquid and return to boil, skimming the fat occasionally and reduce it until about ⅔-1/2 of the original amount. Should thicken a little. Stir in minced rosemary. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Return lamb shanks to the pan to re-heat and serve on the plate with the sauce and some bread for dipping. Enjoy!