We love lamb shanks! They are so almost falling off the bone scrumptious. Of course, if you can source local lamb, even better, the flavour is so delicate. We have found them to be smaller, so we adjust the cooking time slightly. Roasted veggies would be a nice accompaniment for the lamb but I have also made spaetzle to serve with them. The sauce is really delicious but don’t be put off by the large amount of garlic, it totally mellows out.
Makes 4 Servings
1 Tbsp. EVOO & vegetable oil
4 lamb shanks (about 1 lb. each) = 4 lbs. lamb shanks
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
14 garlic cloves, peeled (yes, it is 14)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 cups beef stock** or tinned low salt/no salt broth
3 cups chicken stock** or tinned low salt/no salt broth
1 cup dry white wine
8 large fresh thyme sprigs or 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
6 fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley sprigs
6 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
To Finish the Sauce:
1 cup cranberry juice (sugarless would be just fine)
½ cup dried cherries**
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Heat half the oil in a large, heavy, Dutch oven, with an oven proof lid, over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt & pepper; brown the lamb in the Dutch oven until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Heat the remaining oil in the pan; add the carrots, onion & garlic; sauté 5 minutes; add tomato paste & stir 1 minute. Add both stocks, wine, thyme, parsley, peppercorns & bay leaves; bring to a simmer; cover with lid place in the oven & cook until lamb is very tender, about 2 hours, turning lamb over after 1 hour.
Using a slotted spoon; transfer the lamb to a platter & tent with foil to keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a large heavy saucepan; removing the bay leaves & thyme sprigs. Puree 1 cup of the veggies strained from the cooking liquid, in a food processor or a food mill. Add puree to the cooking liquid; discard the remaining solids; add the cranberry juice & cherries to the cooking liquid & boil until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes or so; season to taste with salt & pepper; return the lamb shanks to the pot; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
NB: The lamb can be made 1 day ahead. Cover & place in the fridge. Before serving, reheat over medium-low heat, stirring often.
If you would like to make homemade stock, click Making Stock.