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It was a dark and stormy night….well, it snowed about 1 foot last night, and I was in the mood for a warm hearty stew. When I looked in the freezer, what should I find but two beautiful lamb shanks, about 1 ½ lbs. each. I was looking for some stew meat so this was like Christmas. As soon as I saw this treat I decided on a braise and never looked back.

My dilemma was that I find that many braises taste very similar and I wanted something special. Of course there are differences in flavor between different braise recipes, but when you add a healthy amount of red wine and tomato paste, the basic flavor of these two ingredients tend to mask the subtleties in the different meats. Of course you can tell the difference between lamb and beef or between beef and pork, but I wanted to braise the lamb shanks so the meat would stand out while still maintaining the wonderful richness a braised dish has.

After reading a slew of recipes, I started my creative adventure. Sometimes this works out exactly as I want and sometimes I create gastronomic disasters of epic proportions. Anyway, this one worked out pretty well.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 2
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Ingredients

Cost per serving $5.05 view details
  • 2 lamb shanks about 1 ½ lb each
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz organic vegetable stock (OK, I’m lazy, I used a boxed stock)
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, quartered and sliced about ¼” thick
  • 6 large mushrooms
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced including the white part and some of the green
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ ts dried rosemary (fresh is better if you have it)
  • ¼ ts dry thyme (fresh is better if you have it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A bit of cheesecloth

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper
  3. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pot large enough to hold the lamb without crowding
  4. Brown the lam on all sides
  5. Remove the lamb to a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, sautéing them until they are translucent
  6. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot, add herbs wrapped and tied in the cheesecloth, and heat to a low boil. Return the lamb to the pot cover tightly and place in the oven for about 1 ½ hours (times differ due to altitude, your oven and how much of the wine that didn’t go into the braise that you drank)
  7. IMPORTANT NOTE: Check the pot occasionally to be sure there is enough liquid
  8. Remove the pot from the oven, remove the lamb to a plate, strain out the onion, garlic and herb packet, skimming off the fat
  9. Return the stock to the pot and add in all of the vegies and the lamb
  10. Return the pot to the oven for an additional 45 minutes
  11. Remove the pot from the oven, transfer the lamb to a plate, tenting with foil to keep it warm
  12. Place the pot on the stove and simmer to thicken
  13. Using a stick blender, puree about ½ of the vegies so the stock is creamy with some nice vegetable bits.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 857g
Recipe makes 2 servings
Calories 364  
Calories from Fat 246 68%
Total Fat 27.91g 35%
Saturated Fat 3.89g 16%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1880mg 78%
Potassium 1005mg 29%
Total Carbs 27.96g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6.4g 21%
Sugars 14.65g 10%
Protein 5.54g 9%

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