This hearty braised dish is a family favourite. This recipe is a compilation of many I’ve tried over the years, but most closely resembles Braised Lamb Shanks Provencal found in All About Braising by Molly Stevens, a go-to cookbook and a font of wisdom and inspiration. We serve it with creamy mashed potatoes and a steamed green vegetable, such as green beans, broccoli or rapini. It’s also wonderful over pasta. I usually double the recipe and freeze half of it, removing the bones before putting the shanks and delicious sauce into two-portion containers.
A rich, melt in your mouth dish for cold nights.
- • 6 lamb shanks (about a pound each)
- • 1 c all-purpose flour
- • 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
- • kosher salt & coarsely ground black pepper
- • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- • 1 cup dry white wine
- • 1 pound plum tomatoes coarsely chopped, or one 28 oz can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- • 1 c chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- • ½ lb baby carrots or 3 large carrots, peeled
- • 2 large bay leaves
- • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- • 1 14 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Pour the flour into a shallow dish or pie plate and stir in the paprika. Wash and thoroughly dry the shanks before seasoning them with salt & pepper. Roll the shanks one by one in the flour, patting to remove any excess, and set them on a large plate or tray, not touching.
- Heat the oil in a 6-7 quart heavy braising pot until it shimmers. Add the shanks 3-4 at a time (don’t crowd the pot), turning them with tongs until they are gently browned on all sides. Transfer the shanks to a plate or tray, and continue until they are all done. Discard any leftover flour.
- Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the fat from the pot and return to the heat. If the pot is at all blackened wipe it out with a damp paper towel, being careful to leave behind any caramelized drippings. Add the onions and garlic, saute gently until soft and transluscent (about 10 minutes). Add the wine and simmer until it is reduced by about half, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the tomatoes, stock, carrots, bay leaves, rosemary, and season with salt & pepper. Simmer for another 3 minutes.
- Arrange the shanks in the pot, tucking them partway down into the liquid. The shanks will fit fairly snugly, and you may need to arrange them â€œhead-to-toeâ€ so they fit more evenly. It’s fine to stack them in two layers. Cover the pot with parchment paper, pressing down so it nearly touches the lamb and the edges of the paper extend about one inch over the side of the pot. Set the lid in place, slide the pot into the lower part of the oven and braise for about 2 ½ hours at 325 degrees F.
- Check the shanks every 30 to 45 minutes, turning them with tongs and rearranging them so they get equal time at the top and bottom of the pot. Make sure there is plenty of liquid, and top up with Â½ a cup of water if necessary. If it seems to be simmering too aggressively, lower the oven heat by 10 or 15 degrees. The shanks are done when the meat is completely tender and slides off the bone.
- Transfer the shanks to a tray to catch any juices and cover with foil to keep warm. Remove the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves. Using a wide spoon, skim as much surface fat from the cooking liquid as possible. Lamb shanks tend to throw off quite a bit of fat. Continue skimming (tilting the pot to gather the liquid in one corner makes it easier) until you are satisfied. Add the cannellini beans. Return the pot to medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust the seasonings and return the shanks to the liquid to reheat for a few minutes. Serve with plenty of sauce spooned over each shank.
- Serving Size: 6