RECIPE 26: Braised Lamb Shanks

                      -= Exported from BigOven =-

                         Braised Lamb Shanks

This is without a doubt the most requested recipe I’ve ever created. Lamb shanks are one of the cuts of meat that benefit most from long, slow braising. Don’t omit the step of turning the shanks every half hour; it causes them to caramelize even as they braise. If the braising liquid seems too reduced at the end of the cooking process, stir 1 cup of water into the liquid before straining. Demi-glace is veal stock that has been reduced by half. High-quality prepared versions are available at gourmet shops. Serve this with any full-bodied red wine.

Serve this with Soft Polenta, Tomato-Thyme Risotto, Potato Puree, or Roasted Garlic and White Bean Puree.

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 6
Cuisine: French
Main Ingredient: Lamb
Categories: Lamb, Main Dish

-= Ingredients =-
6 ea Lamb Foreshanks
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
to taste Coarse Salt
to taste Freshly-Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 ea ribs Celery ; Roughly Chopped
1 ea Carrot ; Roughly Chopped
1 ea large Spanish Onion ; Roughly Chopped
1/2 cup Tomato Paste
5 ea sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 ea Bay Leaf
1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
1 ea whole Garlic ; Cut In Half
1 bottle Red Wine ; Shiraz Is Nice
1/3 cup White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 cup Demi-Glace ; or 2 Cups Veal Stock
2 cups Chicken Stock
8 ounces Pearl Onions ; Peeled and stem end removed
3 ounces Sugar
3/4 cup Water
8 ounces Button Mushrooms
3 ounces Bacon Lardons

-= Instructions =-
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Season the lamb shanks liberally with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, cut about 1 inch from the bottom (narrow end) of the shank bones down to the bone and all the way around; this will help expose the bone while cooking. Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion to the pot. Cook until very soft, 8-10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste. Cook 1-2 minutes until nicely browned.

Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, and garlic. Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add the red and white wine, vinegar, and sugar, raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium and add the demi-glace (or veal stock) and chicken stock. Leave over medium heat while you brown the shanks.

Dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the shanks well in the remaining 1/2 cup oil on both sides, about I minute for each of 3 sides. Use tongs to flip them over.

Transfer the shanks to a roasting pan and pour the stock mixture on top. Cover with aluminum foil or a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook for another 3 hours, TURNING THE SHANKS OVER EVERY HALF HOUR until the meat is very soft. (Can be prepared to this point up to one day in advance. If preparing ahead, skim fat from sauce, bring meat to room temperature, and reheat in a medium oven.)

While the shanks are cooking, prepare the GARNISH.

Remove the shanks from the braising liquid and strain the liquid. Skim any fat that rises to the surface and use the liquid as a sauce.

GARNISH:Put the peeled and trimmed pearl onions into a medium pan. Mix sugar into water and add this mixture to the onions. Cover with a round of parchment paper. Put onions over medium-high heat and cook down, shaking the pan occasionally, until the onions are a rich, roasted color and are soft.

In a seperate pan, render the lardons and cook the button mushrooms in the bacon fat over medium heat until cooked through and tender.

Dress the plate with a few pearl onions and mushrooms.
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