Pomegranate-Merlot Braised Lamb Shanks

Pomegranate-Merlot Braised Lamb Shanks is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 10.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 285 minutes
Servings: 6

Pomegranate juice lends a sweet-tart flavor to this slow-cooked lamb dish, while cinnamon, cumin and allspice add an undertone of spicy warmth. Serve over couscous to soak up the delicious sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 lb. (2.25 kg) lamb shanks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) Merlot
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) chicken broth
  • 6 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) pomegranate seeds
  • Cooked couscous for serving

Directions:

Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Working in 2 batches, brown the lamb on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter.

Warm 1 Tbs. oil in the insert. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, cinnamon, cumin, allspice and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the wine and pomegranate juice and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the honey, broth, salt, pepper and lamb.

Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base. Cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer’s instructions for 3 hours. Add the carrots and cook until the lamb is tender, about 1 hour more.

Transfer the lamb and carrots to a large platter. Skim the excess fat off the sauce. Set the insert over high heat and boil until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Pour the sauce over the lamb and sprinkle with the parsley and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately with couscous. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Succulent and delicious. Great for entertaining. I used an Estancia Merlot to cook with and served the lamb with Broadside Merlot which paired beautifully. I made this meal in my Staub Dutch oven. I braised it at 350-degrees for about 2 1/2 hours. I served this over a goat cheese polenta which had a creaminess that made it a nice accompaniment to the lamb and sauce. This was so easy to serve for a dinner party as it can all be assembled ahead of time. The aroma is amazing as it slowly braises. I didn't take the time to reduce the sauce at the end and I thought it was lovely just that way. I strained the sauce so that it was smooth. Also, I forgot to add the vinegar at the end and it was absolutely delicious the way I served it. I think that the vinegar would have brightened the flavors a bit and will definitely use it the next time. The pomegranate garnish gave a beautiful and colorful visual as well as textural contrast to the dish. Highly recommend this recipe!
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great winter dish When I tried this as a "trial run" for a Gingerbread house dinner party- I didn't care for the lamb. So- I made it with a good quality chuck roast. Great hit- the warm winter spices with the cool pomegranate seeds- excellent. Even better the next day. Served w/ Yukon Gold mashed.....
Date published: 2015-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from most requested dish Stunningly delicious. Made this in the slow cooker and allowed it to cook for 6 to 8 hours. The flavor was exceptional and my family frequently requests this dish,
Date published: 2014-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy to make, beautiful to see, delicious to eat Super simple to make. I do not have a slow cooker so cooked shanks in a Dutch oven in a 250 degree oven for two hours, then added the carrots and cooked for another hour. All was perfect. I left the seed garnish off. It was still a beautiful dish and drew "ooohs" for apparance and "aaahs" for aroma from our guests. Made a day ahead; removed shanks and carrots to one sealed dish and broth to another to hold in fridge overnight. Next day, boiled broth to reduce, added back in shanks and carrots and reheated all in low oven (275) until piping hot. Fregola is a great alternative to the coucous the recipe note suggests as serve with. A keep and repeat recipe.
Date published: 2014-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dinner Party We have made this a few times for dinner parties. After every party at least one guest asked for the recipe.
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yum, yum, yum!!! As a complete novice, this is a dish I can prepare and absolutely WOW my guests! Simple and yet beautiful in presentation and wonderful on the fork!
Date published: 2013-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As good as any high end restaurant This recipe was a WOW! Served it over yukon mashed and a cool cucumber salad. Was a real hit. Easy and fall off the bone delicious. This recipe is a keeper.
Date published: 2013-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect to impress guests This was easy to make with simple ingredients. Everyone loved it.
Date published: 2013-10-13
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