Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jinx-Proof Braised Lamb Shanks – There's NO Way You Can Mess These Up

I don't want to put too much pressure on you, but you're going to have to try really hard to screw up this great tasting lamb shanks recipe.

Lamb shanks are one of the most foolproof meat choices out there, and when you braise it, you have about as close to a sure thing, as there is.

After a long, slow roast in an aromatic, deeply flavored broth, these shanks are sure to get rave reviews. In fact, you culinarily challenged may want to give this a go for Valentine's dinner. The risk/reward ratio is very good.

The long, slow cooking technique works perfectly with your plans to mesmerize your date with a few hours of witty and romantic conversation before dinner. I'm sure that will be great, but maybe have the Wii out just in case. Enjoy!



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

37 comments:

uncivlengr said...

Looks great! A Perisan friend who cooked a really good leg of lamb told me once the secret to cooking it well was to keep it out of its own juices, so that's what I've always done... obviously not always the case!

Anonymous said...

If you get to the point where you've got your wii out you've almost certainly won.

Andy said...

Oh, tough call. It's either my own Cheddar-broccoli soup, or the Tom Kha Guy served at a nearby restaurant. Love them both.

KPeff said...

The last time I braised lamb shanks, I served them over creamy polenta made with roasted bell peppers. Next time, I'm going to do roasted poblanos with some sort of cheddar.

Pink Panda said...

HOLY LAMB! That looks amazing.

Online Degrees said...

Its looking very tasty! YUMY! thanks for the sharing recipe here i will try to make it.

Thibeault's Table said...

We love lamb of any cut, but the shank is the favourite. Your dinner looks delicious.

Susanna said...

Braising lamb shanks maybe easy, holding a witty and romantic conversation with the date, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, This recipe looks incredible. Could you recommend an easy side dish (starch) to make with this? I am a new cook so something really simple would be great. Thanks so much, I love your site.

Chef John said...

everything goes with this! plain mashed potatoes being my fav. click in the "side dishes" link in the sidebar categories.

missy said...

this may sound like a crazy question, but how "gamey" is lamb shank. i'm just starting to get used to the taste of lamb and really like the little lambchops, but am still working my way up to bigger cuts. my hubby loves it, though and i'd love to make this for him for valentine's. thanks for the imput!!

Anonymous said...

I just had to try this, and i kinda messed up, but it turned out so good and tender. Favorite lamb recipe!

Anonymous said...

I am making this recipe today. I only have 1/2 the lamb shanks it calls for in the recipe, I will half the other ingredients but do I have to adjust the cooking time to account for the smaller amount of meat? Help!!!!! :)

Chef John said...

same cooking time, enjoy!

Fungirl said...

Chef John - I did the recipe as is, and everyone just loved it. Served haricots verts with aioli, rice pilaf with cranberries and almonds, salad with orange vinaigrette. It was a real hit. One thing I really liked about the recipe was browning the shanks in the hot, hot oven. I am wondering if you would recommend the same technique with other meats - osso bucco, stew meat, quail, etc. Basically anything that you would go on to braise. Sure makes life easier! Many thanks for another great recipe!

Fungirl said...

Chef John - I did the recipe as is, and everyone just loved it. Served haricots verts with aioli, rice pilaf with cranberries and almonds, salad with orange vinaigrette. It was a real hit. One thing I really liked about the recipe was browning the shanks in the hot, hot oven. I am wondering if you would recommend the same technique with other meats - osso bucco, stew meat, quail, etc. Basically anything that you would go on to braise. Sure makes life easier! Many thanks for another great recipe!

Chef John said...

thanks! yes, works for any braised meat.

Rose from Holland said...

Hmm.. I think this might become my new favorite Chef John Recipe! I'll definately try this!!
(PS, in case you're wondering, right now my favorite is "sherry braised beef short ribs"!)

Jud said...

Made this last night. If the recipe had called for seasoning the braise liquid with salt - at least 1/2 tsp is my guess - this would have been at least a 4 out of 5. Without the salt, the braise sauce was bland, almost flavorless. And leaving the cooked vegies, which are essentially flavorless, in the broth just emphasized the blandness. Next time, I'll season the braise liquid to taste with salt and strain the liquid after baking the shanks. Then it should live up to your high regard of the dish. I'll also probably pop in a little tomato paste during the braise liquid preparation, giving it a quick caramalization after the mirapoix vegies are fully sauteed.

NAYANIMA said...

Hi ! Thanks for the recipe. Well you see, Lamb is really popular in India. So will try it this weekend. Thanks for using simple things in your cooking ... just love the site. Keep it up Chef John !!

Anonymous said...

I definitely recommend this. I have made this dish multiple times in my parties and have got multiple complements. It has become a requested dish when I invite people over. I even once played the video for the guests at the party after they praised the dish!
Kudos "foodwishes"!

David Brooks said...

I made this a few weeks ago for some friends and it was great. I also cooked up from BBQ ribs (odd combo, I know) The shanks were great, I noticed that you mention you are trying to not have the meat fall off the bone. Is there a reason that we dont want that? Wouldn't having it be as tender as possible be the goal? Thanks again for the recipe!

Chef John said...

Just meant for presentation, no need to make the meat fall off the bone involuntarily. It should be very fork tender, but some people cook way to long and get shredded lamb.

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight--it was fabulous. I braised it in a slow cooker and it turned out perfectly. Chef, do you think that, with enough liquid in the braise, soaked beans could be added? Something like flagolet or cranberry beans? Thanks--will be trying the slow roasted lamb shanks next time.

Chef John said...

sure!

Anonymous said...

Ha! I liked it when you put the jar that said 'Enjoy' at the end. Still this is a good dish.

Pieter said...

Why didn't you brown in the pan instead? Just wondering if pan searing isn't as good as oven browning? Then the fond isn't part of the sauce?

Lilian said...

Could i sear the lamb shanks in some olive oil, set it aside and then saute the veg in the same pot and then add in the wine and stock, scraping out all the brown caramelized bits? Is that the same thing? I kinda prefer doing everything in the same pot.

Btw would some tomato paste be a good addition to the sauce?

Chef John said...

Sure, why not! No matter what pan I use I always deglaze. Was juts easier to use the larger shallow pan. tomato is always good with lamb. enjoy!

Locomotive_breath said...

Hi Chef John

I'm a big fan of your videos. That, along with the Daily Show with Jon Stewart are my daily fix (I watch old videos on 'off' days :).

I made the lamb shanks yesterday and the results were pretty good. I used 3 large shanks and followed your instructions to the T except that also added double concentrated tomato paste (another one of your recommendations). The sauce was excellent. The only thing that I wasn't happy about was that the lamb dried out a bit on the outside. I was done cooking it about an hour before I was to serve it so I let it stay in the oven (with the over switched off) and prepared the sauce only when I was ready to serve. DO you think it dried out because of the extra time in the oven? I did 'nestle' the shanks in the braising liquid per your directions and use foil accordingly.

Any suggestions?

Thanks again and please keep up the good work.

Shantanu.

Chef John said...

Thanks! Sorry, I'm confused how it could dry out if it was covered and in the braising liquid.

Locomotive_breath said...

Mine weren't covered all the way with the liquid...more like 1/2 at the thickest part of the shank. I did turn it after 1 hour per your instructions. I'll use a deeper pan the next time round and also increase the quantity of the liquid.

Thanks again Chef. You rock!

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John,

This looks like an amazing recipe. I am new to cooking and love your videos and your blog.

What can I substitute for the red wine?

We are used to Mediterranean flavors. I would really appreciate it if you could suggest some alternatives.

Thank you

Kim

Chef John said...

just leave it out. enjoy!

Matt said...

I don't know what it is with edmonton, but I have been meaning to make this, but the two closest stores, sobeys and safeway, both do not have any lamb. Not in the pre packed, nor the butcher. Not even frozen! Yes, that is how desperate I am. Millwoods has a large indian community, you would think I could find lamb somewhere other than a curry house... My car is broke, otherwise I would have gone to the market in strathcona. I know there's some farmer there on saturdays. I never thought it would be this impossible to find some lamb shanks. Damn it, I only needed three.
To top it all off, I haven't had lamb for a few years as my brother won't eat it.

Laura Lipnicki said...

Thank you for this recipe chef John. My husband kissed me many times after dinner and he was so impressed with my culinary skills!,:)

Justin said...

Chef John - Just wanted to share a blog my son Justin wrote as a school assignment. It is paying you a great compliment. Wanted you to know how your recipes are appreciated at our household. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

https://jmgoveas.wordpress.com/