Braised Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks are wonderfully flavorful, but they can be a bit tough, so they lend themselves well to a low and slow braise. Long cooking at a low temperature is exactly what you need for meat that is falling-off-the-bone tender.
The trick to delicious lamb shanks is to brown the shanks first.
- 2 Lamb shanks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3-4 medium potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 cup chicken or beef stock
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
Optional, and highly recommended:
- 3/4 cup raisins, soaked in 1/2 cup sherry for a couple hours
- 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 Preheat oven to 350° F. Season lamb shanks with salt.
2 Brown the lamb shanks: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or an oven-proof, thick-bottomed, pot with a tight fitting cover on medium high heat on the stovetop. Working in batches if necessary, brown the lamb shanks in the pot on all sides. Remove shanks to a dish.
3 Sauté the onion, carrot, celery: Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.
4 Add potatoes, then garlic, lamb, herbs, sherry, raisins: Add potatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Add the garlic, lamb shanks, and herbs (except for the mint). If using, add the sherry and raisins; bring the sherry to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
5 Add stock, bring to simmer, put in oven: Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover the pot and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 or 2 hours or until shanks are tender.
6 Strip meat from bones: Remove the shanks, strip the meat from the bones and return the meat to the pan.
Serve with fresh mint leaves as garnish.