After enjoying my fair share of lamb shanks, I added “prepare a lamb entree” to my mental list of New Year’s food resolutions. My special one’s birthday proved to be the worthy occasion and proved I’m clearly not the type of kitchen adventurer who practices and fine tunes a recipe before serving it on a special occasion. I embrace the risk and take the plunge! The birthday boy said this was one of the top dinners I’ve made him so far which sounds a lot like “goal accomplished!”
In the realm of slow cooked meats, this recipe felt like cheating. Less than three hours for tender, flavorful lamb that fell off the bone? Don’t question it. Just make it!
Lamb Shanks Fit For A Birthday
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Black Forest Bacon Fat (I happened to have this in my skillet, but olive oil will work if you don’t have bacon fat)
1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 ¼ cups)
3 large whole garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
3 large lamb shanks (about 3-4lbs total)
Whole-wheat pastry flour (or AP flour)
2 cups dry red wine
1 can (14 oz) cherry tomatoes in sauce
.1 lbs dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
~1 pound organic carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-long pieces
Heat bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat.
Add red onion and garlic; sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl.
Sprinkle lamb shanks with salt and pepper; dust with flour to coat.
Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add lamb and cook until brown, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes.
Add red onion mixture, wine, tomatoes with sauce, mushrooms, herbes de Provence, and carrots.
Stir to coat lamb with vegetable mixture.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lamb is very tender, turning twice, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Uncover and continue to simmer until sauce reduces slightly, about 10 minutes longer. Spoon off fat from pan juices. Season lamb to taste with salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm, covered, over low heat before serving.