(from this, Anne Burrell, recipe on FoodTV.com)
4 Lamb Shanks (each about 1 1/4 pounds; 1 shank is a portion)
1 large Spanish onion or 2 small yellow onions, quartered
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 celery ribs, cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic
1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups hearty red wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
10 to 12 thyme branches tied together into a bundle
3 to 4 cups water
2-3 lb. Baby Carrots, Zucchini, and Squash
Gremolata, recipe follows
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat a large Dutch oven generously with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Season the shanks generously with salt and add them to the pan. Brown well on all sides. This is an incredibly important step; do not rush it.
- Meanwhile, puree the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a food processor until it becomes a coarse paste. Remove and set aside.
- Remove the shanks from the pan to a sheet tray. Discard the excess fat from the pan. Add a little more oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the pureed veggies. Season with salt, to taste. Saute the veggies until they are very brown and aromatic, about 20 minutes. The brown veggies should form a sort of crust on the bottom of the pan, do not let this burn; it is where a lot of the flavor is! Don't rush this step either, since this is where you will develop the brown color and flavor.
- Add the tomato paste and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, chopped rosemary and thyme bundle. Stir frequently and cook until the wine has reduced by about half.
- Add the shanks back to the pot and pour in 3 to 4 cups of water. The shanks should be submersed, if they are not, add more water. Cover and put in the preheated oven. The cooking time will be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Turn the shanks over about halfway through the cooking time. Check the shanks every 45 minutes or so. If the liquid has reduced too much add more water. Defat as you go.
- During the last 60 minutes of cooking add the baby vegetables to the pot and replace lid.
- Remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking time for maximum browning. When the shanks are done the meat should be incredibly tender and flavorful. Transfer to serving plates. Serve with veggies and garnish with Gremolata.
Gremolata:1 orange, zested
1 lemon, zested
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to use.
Zesting the orange:
This is one of those recipes that looks more difficult than it actually is. And, let me tell you...any effort put into this dish is well worth it!!! It is the perfect dish to serve to a group, as once it's in the oven you're pretty much free. The recipe says to check periodically (which I did), but I didn't really see a need...the lamb will just continue to tenderize and fall off the bone as it cooks.
Take the time to prep all of your ingredients, before beginning to cook, and this recipe will come together really smoothly. I used this Martha Stewart Cast Iron Enameled 7Qt. Casserole, and it worked perfectly. You could also cook this meal, after browning, in a crock pot. Enjoy!