Lamb Shanks are perfect for braising. Braised Lamb Shanks cooked with Rosemary and Mustard provides a savory take on this dish. Brown a bit and then cook for hours in the oven until the meat falls off the bone. I especially like them served with Celeriac Mashed Potatoes or just mashed potatoes.
In Praise of Braising
Braising has been considered one of the greatest inventions of mankind. After the invention of fire, the development of pots, then the idea of cooking a tough piece of meat in liquid slowly has to be considered a foundation of human cuisine. Consider this pork shoulder recipe from the 1st century A.D. from Rome. Braising is comfort food in its best form found everywhere: pot roast or coq au vin in western cultures or perhaps braised Korean short ribs in eastern cultures.
Notes on Ingredients
The sauce is a major feature of this dish. Therefore, the choice of stock is significant to the final outcome. Use the best you have. Either a chicken stock or vegetable stock works — but homemade is best. Regardless, it will be cooked for a significant amount of time with white wine, mustard, rosemary, vegetables, and of course, the lamb shanks. A rich flavor will result regardless.
Dijon-style mustard is needed for this dish.
Notes on Technique
The braising technique is quite simple but somewhat detailed. Pay attention to the steps of browning first the meat, then the vegetables, then the flour. Lastly, take care that enough liquid is available for meat to cook to the tender fall-off-the-bone texture desired. The lamb itself will not give off much liquid.
Conserve the resulting cooking liquid. It will be the sauce for your presentation, hopefully, over a bit of Celeriac Potato Mash. You may use it as is – reduce some on a stove-top (after removing the shanks) to thicken. Or mash the cooked vegetables a bit to thicken.
- 2-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 4 Lamb Shanks
- 3-4 Carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 4 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 cups (500 ml) white wine
- 4 stalks of Fresh Rosemary (use dried, if neccesary)
- 2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180 °C).
- In a large saucepan, brown the shanks in about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper the shanks. Brown for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the shanks from the pan and reserve them on a plate.
- In the same saucepan, brown the vegetables. (Add a bit more olive oil, if needed.) Salt and pepper the vegetables. Add the flour to the vegetables and brown slightly, add the mustard and mix all ingredients well.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, reducing the wine slightly. Add the broth and return the meat to the pot. The liquid should come up to at least ⅔ of the way up the sides of the meat. If necessary, add a bit more wine, stock, or even water to increase the level.
- Cover and bake for 2 hours in the pan. Roughly halfway through, turn the meat and check liquid levels. The liquid should not get much below a third way up the meat. Add water, if necessary.
- After the initial cooking, uncover and cook for another hour. Again, check the liquid level and turn halfway through. If below halfway up the shanks, add a bit of water.
- After the last hour, the meat should be tender and easily come off the bone. Remove from the oven.
- Remove the meat from the pan and if desired, reduce the remaining sauce more to thicken. (Additionally, if desired, the vegetables can be easily pureed.) Serve the shanks over mashed potatoes or Celeriac Potato mash. Top with sauce and garnish with tangy sprouts or parsley.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 748mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 29g
Calculated Nutrition is estimated.