Braised Lamb Shanks

Featured by Red Head in the Gold Wine Club.

Ingredients

4 bone in lamb shanks
4 sprigs of thyme
1 sprigs of rosemary
1 head of garlic
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
8 large shallots
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of red wine
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large casserole with lid, dutch oven, or cocotte

Instructions

Peel carrot. Cut celery, shallots, and carrot into large dice size. Smash the head of garlic with the back of a chef knife and discard as much of the garlic skin as possible. Bruise the herbs with the back of the knife. Make sure your braising pot is large enough to fit the shanks without crowding. Heat the oil in a large casserole or dutch oven while liberally seasoning the lamb with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the seasoning at this point. The oil should shimmer before moving onto the next step. Working two shanks at a time, brown the lamb on all sides of the shank until the meat is a dark golden brown. You want a deep colored crust, but be careful not to burn the bone or this will give the braise a bitter flavor. Set the seared shanks aside. Caramelize the vegetables in the braising vessel. Just before the vegetables are finished browning, toss in the garlic, herbs, and peppercorns. Mix into the vegetables. As soon as you smell the aromatic fragrance from the garlic/herb mixture, pour in the water and wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add your shanks. Bring the liquid to a low simmer and cover with lid. Move the pot to the back of your stovetop and maintain low heat for approximately 3 hours. Rotate the shanks every 45 minutes, so that the previously exposed meat is submerged in the liquid after each rotation. The braise is ready when a sharp knife can easily be inserted and removed from the thickest part of the meat. The lamb can be tasty served as is with risotto, lentils, or glazed turnips and roasted potatoes. You may also choose to strain the liquid, mount with a little butter, season and pour over the shanks. The braising liquid makes a fantastic natural juice. Enjoy with a bottle of Red Head Ranch Cabernet or any of your favorite Wine Club selections.



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