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Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine

Lamb Shanks Braised in Red WineYou can use a Merlot in this recipe, but any full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon, will give the sauce the right deep flavor.

Recipe Ingredients:

6 lamb shanks, about 1 1/4 pounds each
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
8 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups dry red wine, (about 1 bottle)
2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
4 ribs celery, cut into large dice
4 carrots, cut into large dice
1 large onion, peeled and cut into about 8 wedges
1 cup thickly sliced mushrooms
5 (3-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Season the shanks with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. In a large, high-sided oven-proof pot, heat the oil until barely smoking. Sear the shanks in batches on all sides until golden brown. Put all the shanks in the pot; add the peppercorns, bay leaves, stock, wine, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, and mushrooms. Put the pot in the oven and cook, turning the shanks every 1/2 hour, until the meat is very tender but still on the bone, about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the shanks and some mushrooms and onions and cover them with foil. Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, degrease carefully, and simmer gently until its flavor is intensified and its volume is reduced by about a third. Serve the shanks on top of the white bean purée; ladle the sauce over the lamb. Serve some of the mushrooms and onions on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

Tip: If making ahead, refrigerate the shanks and cooking liquid separately. Before reheating, remove the fat from the liquid. Put the shanks and the liquid in a covered roasting pan in a 400°F (220°C) oven for about 20 minutes.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of the California Sheep Commission.