Braised Lamb Shanks with White Beans
Braising makes lamb shanks meltingly tender and rich in flavor. Served on a bed of herbed beans makes for a memorable meal.
2 cups dried white beans
6 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, peeled - divided use
2 fresh rosemary sprigs - divided use
1 1/2 teaspoons salt - divided use
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 lamb shanks
3 tablespoons olive oil - divided use
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef broth
- Place beans in a large, heavy-duty pot with enough water to cover by 6 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer for one minute, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Drain beans and return to pot with chicken broth, 2 whole cloves of garlic and 1 sprig rosemary. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook until tender, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if beans get dry. Add 1 teaspoon of salt during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Chop remaining 4 cloves of garlic.
- Meanwhile season lamb shanks with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large flameproof casserole or oven-safe skillet with high sides. Add shanks and brown on all sides. Remove lamb and set aside.
- Add onion and chopped garlic to casserole and sauté for 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom to remove any browned bits. Add beef broth, lamb shanks and remaining sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil, cover and place in oven. Cook until meat is fork tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- When beans are tender, drain and discard rosemary and garlic. Toss with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Serve lamb shanks on bed of white beans.
Makes 4 servings.