No, no… i didn’t apply shoe polish to my lamb shanks. Thanks for asking! A shoe is probably the last thing on earth these lamb shanks should be compared to. Today we’re dealing with pure tenderness, my friends. Sure, they require proper technique and a bit longer braising time than your average lamb shank, but it’s well worth the trouble. As i always say, time spent caring for your shanks is time well spent.
I’ve been wanting to post this recipe for a long, long time. My go-to recipe for braised lamb shanks. My absolute favorite braised lamb shank recipe which i tweaked a little from Tom Valenti. Shanks are cut from the arm of shoulder, contain leg bone and part of round shoulder bone, and are covered by a thin layer of fat. That’s the part of the animal that gets a lot of exercise, so they develop exceptional flavor and they break down to a luscious, gelatinous consistency when slow-cooked for hours.
It all started when Lava Lake Farm contacted me to see if i would be willing to try some of their products. Heck yea! was my answer, i think. Or maybe it was.. you betcha’! Unless it was heeyaa!!.. err.. I can’t remember. Anyway, a few days later i received a box full of goodies, lamb chops, lamb shanks… etc. I immediately thought this would be the perfect occasion to share my favorite lamb shank recipe with you, because after all, this blog is all about you. Except for the food. I get to eat the food.
I usually don’t plug products or companies unless it’s something special. And this is very special, friends. Not only i found the quality of the lamb to be outstanding but i also happen to agree 100% with the company philosophy. Ideally, you want lamb that has been raised sustainably, humanely, and without antibiotics or growth hormones. Ultimately, you want a lamb that gets hugged everyday. And with the nice folks at Lava Lake Farm you get all of that.
Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe
- Inspired by Tom Valenti recipe in “Welcome to my Kitchen”
- Serves 4
For the Braised Lamb Shanks:
- 4 lamb shanks
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots,chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups red wine
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons juniper berries
- 4 anchovy filets, chopped
- 1 whole head garlic, cut in half
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup demi-glace
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Working in batches, add lamb, and sear until brown all over, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pot, and set aside.
- Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat. Add celery, carrot, and onion, and cook until soft and beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook about 3 minutes more. Stir in red and white wine, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, juniper berries, chopped anchovies, garlic and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes to burn off some of the alcohol. Add demi glace and chicken stocks.
- Add lamb and return to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 1 hour. Uncover and cook until meat is very tender, turning the shanks over every half hour, 3 hours more.
- Remove shanks from braising liquid; strain the liquid and discard the solids. Skim any fat that rises to the surface and use the liquid as a sauce. Serve.
For the braised lamb shanks: