Comfort food does not get any better – this Slow Braised Lamb Shank is worth the wait. Couple it with some simple garlic, sour cream mashed potatoes and it is definitely a marriage made in heaven.
My relationship with lamb dates back to childhood; my Daddy was a well known butcher. That meant the lamb (or mutton as we called it) was the freshest you can get. People came from near and far to get their choice fresh cut lamb.
Saturdays in our home was all about having curried or stewed lamb or whatever meat Daddy butchered- cooked by Mom – who never cooked anything that wasn’t finger-licking good. We literally ate with our fingers growing up. I always considered myself as the “Sous Chef,” even though I was just learning the tricks of the trade.
Unlike Mom’s way of cooking lamb, I usually opt for grilling, baking or occasionally make this Osso Bucco style meal. This slow braised, fork tender, no knife required style lamb is a true match for Mom’s amazing cooking.
While this recipe takes time to braise, the preparation is quick and simple. Enjoy!
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Braised Lamb Shank
- 4 lamb shanks (4 to 4-1/2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons viniger
- 3 organic celery diced
- 1/2 of a large red onion diced
- 1-1/2 cups diced organic carrots (about 5 to 6 small carrots)
- 8 fresh garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 16 ounces tomatoes sauce
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
Wash the lamb shanks – in a large bowl, soak the lamb in cold tap water and add the vinegar. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: Lamb usually have a gamey taste even when it is very fresh – this washing method reduces that taste.
Rinse and dry the lamb shanks with paper towel. Season the lamb with 2 teaspoons salt and the black pepper.
In a 6-quart deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Lightly brown the lamb shanks on all sides – 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
Use the same pan to sauté the celery, onions, and carrots. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.
Add the rosemary, oregano, garlic, all the spices and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the red wine – stir – scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is reduced to half – about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth – stir to combine. Add the lamb shanks and coat with the liquid if needed.
Cover the pan with a tight lid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 3 hours until the meat is very tender. The meat should come apart easily when pierced with a fork.
Plate and serve with your favorite side. I serve this with garlic, sour cream mashed potatoes. Enjoy.
If you don’t like lamb you can substitute veal shanks. You can also try making this in a slow cooker.
Note: I always like to “wash” meats. I find the extra step of soaking most meats and most seafood with vinegar water or lemon water makes a difference. Lamb, pork, and goat meats are perfect for the cold vinegar water and fish is perfect for the cold lemon water.