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Braised Lamb Shanks

Brett Cooper, chef at Outerlands restaurant in San Francisco, developed this recipe for lamb shanks, which are cooked slowly in the oven until meltingly tender. To amp up the flavor, he seasons the braise with vadouvan, a French-inspired curry blend. His farro salad is perfect for soaking up the savory sauce (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs. vadouvan, masala or curry powder

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).

Wash the carrot, fennel, celery and onion and cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) pieces. In a bowl, combine the vegetables and the garlic and toss with olive oil to coat. Season the lamb shanks well with salt and pepper. Put the vegetables in a Dutch oven, then place the shanks on top. Transfer to the oven and roast until the vegetables and shanks have lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the stock and vadouvan to the pot and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C). Return the pot to the oven and cook until the meat pulls easily from the bone, about 3 hours. Adjust the seasoning with salt and serve the shanks with some of the braising sauce. Serves 8.

Recipe by Brett Cooper, Chef, Outerlands, San Francisco