The recipe for lamb shanks is from Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann’s new book “Earth to Table”, modified a bit. When making it I realized I didn’t have any red wine that I wanted to cook with, only a very good bottle from Uncle Monty’s cellar.
Allow me to interrupt myself for a moment and ask a question on your behalf. What wine should you cook with? I asked Toronto’s top chefs and here’s what they had to say: thestar.com article ».
Back in the kitchen, I swapped in some beer -Sleeman’s Original Draft, which is what was in the fridge. It made for a milder sauce but was still delicious. I plated the shanks with some braised escarole, buttery mashed potatoes and some of Sable & Rosenfeld’s Three Pepper Smash for a sweet tangy hit. We drank the pricey bottle with dinner and appreciated it much more than we would have in the sauce.
Braised Lamb Shanks
- 4 small lamb shanks (about 8 ounces each)
- salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, same
- 1 onion, same
- 1 leek, (white and light green parts only, well washed) same
- 1 sprig each of fresh thyme and rosemary
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 4 cups beef stock
Generously season lamb with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat until smoking. Add lamb and cook, turning, until golden brown on all sides. About 10 min. Reduce heat to medium and using tongs transfer lamb to large Dutch oven or casserole dish and set aside.
Add vegetables and herbs to pan, saute until golden brown, 8 min. Add wine and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325.
Pour everything over lamb. Liquid should cover the shanks; if it doesn’t, add water or more stock until covered). Cover with lid or tinfoil and bake, turning every 20 min. until meat is very tender and yields easily when pierced with a knife. About 3 hours. Remove meat, strain sauce and reduce by half.