There is very little more luxurious a meal than lamb shanks roasted with red wine and herbs. I say that despite the dish’s heartiness. A roasted lamb shank isn’t on par with champagne and caviar, and yet it’s an elegant dish, taking basic foodstuffs like carrots, celery, fennel, and thyme and pairing them with red wine. The mixture simmers down to create a delectable sauce. The dish is a classic example of how simple ingredients can elevate the whole when used together.
Once you’ve finished the prep work, there is not a lot of hands on attention. Have patience and let the oven work for you. Think of the adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.” That rule applies when you’re cooking tough cuts of meat. The reward will be there. You will have a silky red wine sauce to pair with tender lamb.
If there are leftovers, save them to create a lamb ragu and serve over pasta with a quick vegetable sauté.
Lamb Shanks With Red Wine and Herbs Ingredients
4 meaty lamb shanks, about 1 1/4 pounds each
salt and pepper
5 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, halved and cut into one inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into one inch pieces
1 fennel bulb, fronds removed, root diced into 1 inch pieces
8 cloves garlic, skin removed, minced
6 sprigs thyme
2 T parsley leaves, minced
2 T fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from stems, minced
4 bay leaves
4 cups beef stock
4 cups good quality red wine
2 T unsalted butter, softened
2 T all-purpose flour
Cook the recipe:
Heat oven to 325°F.
Brown lamb shanks on all sides in olive oil in large Dutch oven until deeply colored, about 15 minutes total. Remove lamb to plate to collect juices.
In rendering oil from browned lamb, sauté onion, celery, carrots, fennel, and parsley until lightly golden and softened. Do not brown.
Add liquids to Dutch oven. Place lamb shanks on top, adding water if necessary to cover meaty portions of shanks. Turn off stove top. Cover pot and place in oven. Cook for 4 hours.
Remove lamb shanks from cooking materials to clean plate. Cover with foil.
Prepare beurre manie by mashing softened butter into flour in small bowl until you have a creamy paste.
Strain cooking liquids into pot, pressing on solids. Discard solids and bring remaining liquid to simmer. Add beurre manie to pot, whisking to emulsify and thicken sauce.
Serve lamb shanks with sauce over creamy mashed potatoes and a steamed, green vegetable.
Serves 4, generously.
Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.
Interested in reading Emily’s new award-winning novel, Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage? Find it on Amazon and in Indie bookstores.
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