Monday, February 20, 2012

Braised Lamb Shanks

I love making dishes like lamb shanks and beef short ribs because you can make resturant quality dishes with cuts of meat that don't cost you a crazy amount of money. I also find it relaxing and comforting to have meal cooking slow in the kitchen all day, making the house smell amazing. If you do not have a lot of time during the week, try this on a weekend for a cozy comforting lamb dinner. 

Braised Lamb Shanks (recipe from Anne Burrell- Cook like a Rockstar)
Serves 4 (Time: about 3 1/2 hours)

4 Lamb shanks
Kosher salt
Olive oil
2 onions-roughly chopped
4 carrots-roughly chopped
4 celery stalks-roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves-smashed
1 cup tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 tbsp fresh rosemary-finely chopped
4 bay leaves
1 bundle of fresh thyme-tied with butchers twine

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Season lamb with salt. Coat a large dutch oven with olive oil and bring pan to med-high heat. Add lamb to the hot pan and brown well on all sides. Do not rush this step, it could take up to 20 minutes.

3. While the lamb is browning, put onions, celery, carrots and garlic in food processor and puree into a coarse paste. Set aside.

4. Once the lamb is brown on all sides, remove from pan and set aside. Remove most of the excess fat and add in a little fresh oil. Add in the pureed veggies and season with salt. Cook until very brown and a "crud" has formed on the bottom of the pan; about 10 mins. Scraping the bottom occasionally.

5. Add in tomato paste and cook until it starts to brown; 1-2 mins. Add in wine and bring to a boil; scraping the bottom occasionally. Cook 3-4 mins.

6. Add 3-4 cups of water to loosen the mixture. You can taste it to make sure it does not need more seasoning, re-season if necessary. Place the shanks back into the dutch oven. If you do not have a dutch oven transfer the mixture and lamb shanks to a roasting pan. The liquid should be 2/3 of the way up the lamb shanks; if it doesn't add more water.

7. Toss in rosemary, bay leaves and thyme bundle. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Cook
2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check the shanks every 45 minutes and turn them. If the liquid has reduced significantly add more water.

8. Remove foil the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow liquid to thicken and reduce. Serve lamb with lots of sauce.

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