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Braised Lamb Shanks

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Braised Lamb Shanks
Stok-Yard Studio/Photodisc/Getty Images
This slow-braised lamb shanks recipe produces incredibly flavorful, succulent, fork-tender meat. Lamb shanks make a great hearty dinner, and reheat beautifully.

Makes 6 Braised Lamb Shanks

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 6 lamb shanks, about 5 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup drinkable red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the shanks in a deep, 15 x 10 inch baking dish, or similar sized roasting pan, large enough to fit the shanks in one layer. Rub with the olive oil, dried rosemary and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Roast for 30 minutes to brown the lamb.

While the lamb is browning, place a saucepan on medium-high heat, and add the butter. When the butter foams, add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook for about 6-7 minutes, or until the vegetables soften and the edges start to brown and caramelize.

Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the wine. When the wine comes to a boil, add the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, water, and cinnamon. Bring back to a boil, turn off and reserve.

When the lamb has finished browning, remove, and turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. Pour over the sauce mixture, and distribute evenly. Cover with heavy-duty foil, crimping the edges to form a tight seal. Roast for 1 hour, lift the foil, turn over the shanks, rewrap and cook for 1 more hour, or until fork tender. Remove the lamb shanks to a large bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

Pour the braising liquid into a saucepan and boil on high heat for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half and slight thickened. As the sauce reduces the fat will pool up in the center of the pan and should be skimmed off with a ladle. Add the fresh rosemary, taste and adjust for seasoning. Transfer the lamb shanks to a serving platter, and serve topped with the sauce.
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