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Braised Lamb Shanks with Rosemary

From the lower section of the leg, lamb shanks are a full-flavored but tough cut of meat. They respond well to slow, gentle braising in aromatic liquid, emerging moist and fork-tender. The shanks are first browned in olive oil to give them color and enhance the taste.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 140 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lamb shanks, external fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 Tbs. dried rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with the side
     of a knife
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Working in batches if needed, brown the shanks on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a platter.

Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the wine and return the pan to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the stock, rosemary, garlic, bay leaf and shanks and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is almost falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Using tongs, transfer the shanks to a large serving bowl.

Remove the bay leaf from the cooking liquid. Using a blender or a stick blender, puree the liquid and solids until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour some of the sauce over the shanks and pass the rest alongside.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.