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Braised Lamb Shanks With Citrus Gremolata

"A braise is like a stew, but requires less liquid and has a longer cooking time. Allow about two and a half hours for the lamb to cook. It can also be braised on the stovetop but check liquid every once in awhile. If you have a phenolic knob on your lid, be sure it can handle the oven temperature - I have the "classic" Le Creuset dutch oven, and it can only go to 375, which worked just fine. The "signature" line can handle much higher heat. We serve this over a nice creamy, cheesy polenta and some asparagus alongside. Yum! Recipe is adapted from one by Anne Burrell."

  US | Metric  Print Ingredients
  • 5 pounds lamb shank (4 shanks, each about 1 1/4 pounds; 1 shank is a portion)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra-virgin)
  • 4 (3/4 pounds) carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves (or more!)
  • 1 Spanish onion (large onion, or 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1-inch dice)
  • 2 cans (12 ounces) tomato paste (6-ounce EACH)
  • 2 cups red wine (hearty red wine)
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 5 bay leaves
  • Thyme branches (10 to 12, tied together in a bundle)
  • 1 orange, whole (zested)
  • 1 lemon, whole (zested)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (small clove)
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish, freshly grated (optional)

What You Will Need

  • Food processor
  • Heavy enameled cast iron dutch oven
  How to Make

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make sure your lid knob can handle the heat. If not, you can also braise on the stovetop, but carefully monitor the liquid to avoid burning.

Step 2

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 very important step; don't try to rush it.

Step 3

Meanwhile, puree the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a food processor until it becomes a coarse paste. You should still be able to see small chunks of veggies. Set aside.

Step 4

Remove the shanks from the pan and set aside. Discard the excess fat from the pan. Add a little more olive 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 20-25 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom frequently. 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.

Step 5

Add the tomato paste and brown for 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom frequently. Stir in the wine, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Stir frequently and cook until the wine has reduced by about half.

Step 6

Add 3-4 cups water, stirring until thoroughly incorporated. Add the chopped rosemary, bay leaves, and the thyme bundle. Add the shanks back to the pot. The shanks should be submersed. If they aren't, add more water. Cover and put in the preheated oven.

Step 7

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. If desired or needed, defat as you go.

Step 8

When the shanks are done the meat should be incredibly tender and flavorful. Transfer to serving plates and garnish with Gremolata.


Step 9

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

  Nutritional Facts
  • Serving Size: 1 (1227.4 g)
  • Calories 1065.1
  • Total Fat - 34.3 g
  • Saturated Fat - 10.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 362.9 mg
  • Sodium - 443.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 59.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 5.9 g
  • Sugars - 10.4 g
  • Protein - 121 g
  • Calcium - 167.6 mg
  • Iron - 13.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 108.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 1.1 mg
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