There is probably no other cut of lamb that lends itself to slow
cooking better than the shank. Carrots and onions add sweetness, while red wine
contributes just the right amount of acidity to make the recipe
the perfect pairing.
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1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 lamb shanks, each about 1 lb.,
trimmed of excess fat
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. canola oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup dry red wine, such as Côtes
1 cup beef broth
On a plate, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Turn the shanks in the seasoned
flour, shaking off any excess. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the
butter with the oil. Add the shanks and cook, turning frequently, until browned on all
sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan and return the pan to medium-high heat.
Add the onions, carrot and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the
garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, wine and broth and bring to a boil.
Oven method: Preheat an oven to 300°F. Transfer the shanks to a large Dutch
oven and pour in the broth mixture. Cover and cook until the lamb is very tender,
about 3 hours. Uncover and continue to cook until the juices are slightly reduced,
about 30 minutes more.
Slow-cooker method: Transfer the shanks to a slow cooker and pour in the broth
mixture. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the lamb
is very tender, 7 to 8 hours on low. Uncover and continue to cook until the juices are
slightly reduced, about 1 hour more.
Transfer the shanks to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Using a large, shallow spoon or a ladle, skim as much fat as possible from the
surface of the cooking liquid. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, set over mediumhigh
heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened,
about 5 minutes. Spoon the cooking juices over the lamb and serve immediately.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow
Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Denis
Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).
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