Rich and hearty lamb shank and butternut squash stew, served with parsley, garlic, and lemon gremolata.
- 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
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.
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.
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.