Braised Lamb Shanks

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided

  • 4 - 6 lamb shanks trimmed of excess fat

  • 1 large white onion diced

  • 6 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 large carrots sliced 1/2-inch thick

  • 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 2 cups beef stock

  • 1 1/2 cups red wine like Merlot Pinot Noir, or a Chianti -- optional. Substitute with extra stock).

  • 14 oz (400 g) passata (tomato puree or American tomato sauce)

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 beef bouillon cubes crushed

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped (divided)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Salt and pepper to season


INSTRUCTIONS

OVEN METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

  • Wash and pat dry lamb shanks with paper towel.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pot over medium-high heat. Sear two shanks in the hot oil until browned on all sides. Repeat with remaining shanks and oil.  Transfer to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, set aside.

  • To the pan juices, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

  • Return the shanks back into the pot; season with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown the flour.

  • Add stock, wine, puree, tomato paste, bouillon and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the stove.

  • Cover, transfer to lower part of the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender (adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly).

  • Gently transfer the shanks onto a plate; tent to keep warm.

  • Discard the bay leaves from the sauce and place pot onto stove. Simmer sauce over medium heat until thickened to your desired consistency.  OPTIONAL: skim off any additional fat which rises to the surface.

  • You should be left with about 3 cups of sauce thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon.  
*If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. If the sauce is too thin, boil it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to the right consistency. (See notes about thickening.)

  • Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if desired. Add the shanks back into the pot of sauce.

  • Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.


  • To serve the following day, allow the casserole to cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
 The day of serving, remove from refrigerator for at least an hour before reheating. Place over medium-low heat and let simmer gently for about 10 - 15 minutes, basting the shanks and vegetables with the sauce.

NOTES STOVE TOP:

  1. Wash and pat dry lamb shanks with paper towel.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pot.

  3. Sear two shanks in the hot oil until browned on all sides. Repeat with remaining shanks and oil.

  4. Transfer to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, set aside.

  5. To the pan juices, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

  6. Return the shanks back into the pot; season with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.

  7. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.

  8. Add stock, wine, puree, tomato paste, bullion and herbs.

  9. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling apart.

  10. Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

INSTANT POT / PRESSURE COOKER:

  1. Set Instant Pot or Cooker to SEAR function (or use a pan on the stove over medium heat of you wish).

  2. Wash and pat dry lamb shanks with paper towel.

  3. Sear two shanks in the hot oil until browned on all sides. Repeat with remaining shanks and oil.

  4. Add all shanks to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook on SEAR for a further 4-5 minutes to brown.

  5. Add in the onions, carrots, wine, stock, tomato puree, tomato paste, garlic, bullion and herbs. Stir well, cover and lock the lid into place. Press Keep Warm/Cancel to stop the Sauté function, then set to MANUAL mode. Choose HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes cook time. 

  6. After cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 8-10 minutes. Open the valve and allow and remaining steam to escape (for Instant Pot, turn the valve from sealing to venting to release the pressure).

  7. Change the Instant Pot or cooker setting back to the SEAR setting (or SAUTE) stir well and allow the sauce to thicken uncovered, for a further 5-10 minutes. 

  8. Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

SLOW COOKER:

  1. Wash and pat dry lamb shanks with paper towel.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pot over medium-high heat.

  3. Sear two shanks in the hot oil until browned on all sides. Repeat with remaining shanks and oil.

  4. Transfer to 6 quart (litre) slow cooker bowl.

  5. Add in the onions, carrots and garlic. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, tossing well to combine.

  6. Pour the red wine into the pan or skillet and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes, then whisk in the flour until free from lumps. Allow to reduce and thicken slightly, then pour it into the slow cooker along with the stock, tomato puree, tomato paste, bullion and herbs.

  7. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients. Cook on high heat setting for 6 hours or low for 8 hours, or until lamb is fall apart tender.

  8. Remove shanks, transfer sauce to a pot and let simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat to reduce to desired thickness.

  9. Garnish with fresh parley and serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

TO THICKEN SAUCE For a quicker method to thicken the sauce once the shanks are cooked through and tender: Mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the sauce from the pot until completely dissolved.  Pour the mixture into the simmering sauce, stirring quickly until completely blended. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until thickened to desired consistency. NUTRITION Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 817mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5890IU | Vitamin C: 20.1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3.5mg


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