Lamb Shanks with Butternut Squash (photo)

Lamb Shanks with Butternut Squash

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Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Lamb shanks (1 lb each)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cloves separated from an entire head of garlic, unpeeled
  • 6 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free version)
  • Two 1x3-inch strips of orange zest
  • 3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/3 cups cooked cannellini beans

Method

lamb-shanks-butternut-1.jpg 1 Heat 4 Tbsp of olive oil in a large cast-iron enameled casserole. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, add them to the casserole and brown well on all sides, working in batches if necessary, about 8 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a plate.

lamb-shanks-butternut-2.jpg lamb-shanks-butternut-3.jpg

2 Preheat the oven to 350°F and arrange two racks in the oven, one to hold the casserole and one to hold a baking sheet with the squash. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves, celery, carrots and onion to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; boil over high heat until the liquid is very syrupy, about 15 minutes.

3 Return the shanks to the casserole and add the stock and orange zest. Bring to a simmer. Cover the casserole and braise the shanks in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender (when we cooked this dish it took 3 hours); turn the shanks from time to time as they cook.

lamb-shanks-butternut-4.jpg 4 Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven (along with the lamb) for about an hour, or until tender.

5 In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic with the parsley and lemon zest (the "gremolata"). Set aside.

6 Remove the shanks from the oven and transfer to a plate. Pass the sauce through a coarse strainer, pressing hard on the vegetables. Discard the vegetable pulp. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.

7 Return the sauce to the casserole, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the lamb shanks and squash; simmer just until warmed through. Add the cannellini beans, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for a few minutes to allow for the flavors to blend.

8 Spoon the vegetables and sauce into large shallow bowls and set the lamb shanks on top. Garnish with the gremolata and serve.

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