Do you like lamb?
It’s usually towards the end of winter that I start getting a craving for it. Not the chop variety, but a big old pot of stew or braised lamb shanks. Something hearty, something filling, something that will hold me through the week.
For my birthday a few weeks ago we made rack of lamb with the chops served on puréed celery root. The flavors were so good together I decided to bring them alive in a stew.
Wow! This is a great way to serve lamb shanks.
We sear a couple shanks first to get good browning, then cook them with onions, rosemary, and a little stock. Half way through the cooking we add in chopped celery root and green cabbage.
Since this is the kind of recipe you need to serve in a bowl (more stew-ish than stand-alone shank-ish), when the shanks are done, we strip the meat off the bones and return them to the pot. But you could leave them on the bones if you like. I’m only using 2 shanks for a recipe that serves 4 to 6, so it seems to make more sense to take the meat off.
Braised Lamb Shanks with Celery Root and Rosemary Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lamb shanks (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 large celery roots (about 3 pounds total)
- 1/2 head of green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Salt the lamb shanks: Sprinkle shanks with salt and let sit while you prep the ingredients.
2 Brown the shanks: Heat oil in a large (6 quart), thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat. Pat shanks dry with paper towels, add them to the pot and sear to brown on all sides.
When sufficiently browned, remove shanks to a bowl, set aside.
3 Sauté onions and garlic: Add chopped onions to the pot and cook until translucent and beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add garlic cloves and cook a minute more.
4 Add rosemary, thyme, bay, shanks, stock, then simmer: Place sprigs of rosemary, thyme, the bay leaves on top of the onions.
Place the seared lamb shanks on top. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken stock. Bring the stock to a simmer, lower the heat to the lowest setting to maintain a simmer, and cover. Let simmer for 1 hour.
5 Prep celery root and cabbage: While the shanks are cooking prepare the celery root and cabbage. Cut off the knobby end of the celery root. Place the celery root cut side down on cutting board to stabilize it. Use a strong knife to cut away the outside peel. Once peeled, cut the celery root into 1 1/2-inch cubes.
Core the cabbage and slice the cabbage into 1 1/2-inch thick slices.
5 Add celery root and cabbage to pot: After an hour, remove the shanks from the pot. Add the sliced cabbage and chunks of celery root. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.
Return the shanks to the pot, nestling them in the celery root and cabbage.
6 Simmer until celery root is cooked and shanks are tender: Increase heat to return the pot to a simmer, lower the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour, until the celery root is cooked through and the shanks are tender.
7 Cut meat away from bones, chop, return meat to pot: Remove the shanks from the pot. Cut the meat away from the bones. Roughly chop the meat and return to the pot.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
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