Braised lamb shanks in pinot noir is the kind of hearty winter dish that makes your whole house smell amazing. It’s great to make when you’re having friends over for dinner. For a side dish, I like to saute the same vegetables we use to cook the lamb—fennel, carrots, onions—and mix them into couscous.–Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo
LC Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow Note
Slow-cooked lamb shanks, according to authors Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, is the sort of food “that tastes even better the day after it’s made.” We’re not going to argue about having to make something in advance—talk about a boon for entertaining. They advise making it one to two days in advance for the best flavor, or if you can’t resist devouring it the day you make it, being certain to stash the leftovers in the back of the fridge, hidden, for a day or two before indulging.
Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 3 H, 40 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 3/4 to 1 pound each lamb shanks
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with liquid
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds and stalks removed, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2-inch lengths (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 fresh mint leaves
- 1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
- 2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb shanks with 2 teaspoons of the salt and brown in the hot oil on all sides. Remove the shanks to a plate and pour off any excess fat from the pan.
- 3. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and, using your hands, shred them into small pieces. Set aside.
- 4. Add the onions, fennel, carrots (if using), garlic, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot. Cook, stirring and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot, until the garlic is lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice from each half and toss the lemon rinds into the pot. Stir in the wine, tomatoes, and ginger, scraping any browned bits up from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer; cook for about 3 minutes.
- 5. Stir in the cinnamon, coriander, fennel seeds, and 3/4 cup water, then add the lamb to the pot. Cover and braise in the oven until the lamb shanks are fork-tender and falls easily off the bone, about 3 hours.
- 6. Arrange the braised lamb shanks on a platter. Stir the butter into the pan juices and, once melted, add the mint. Pour the sauce over the lamb, discard the cinnamon sticks, and serve.
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Testers ChoiceTesters Choice
Jan 02, 2010
Lamb shanks are one of my very favourite things, so when I saw the title of the recipe and the list of ingredients I fell in love! I’m always on the lookout for different ways to use lamb shanks. This is a lovely dish that I will continue to make often. Personally, I’d use less fennel seeds and coriander seeds, but, otherwise, loved it. This dish is packed with flavour, and it’s very true that it’s even better the next day. The house was filled with wonderfully warm and luscious aromas—wish I could package the scent! The meat is so tender you could eat it with a spoon. Very impressive looking, yet so simple to make. It would be a superb company dish.
Jan 02, 2010
This lamb dish smelled so wonderful while cooking, we all anticipated a great meal on a recent frigid evening. It delivered. Fragrant with spices, rich with meaty lamb and wine flavor, it was perfect served over soft polenta.
Jan 02, 2010
Now, this is what I’m talking about. I love braising. It breaks down the connective tissue of the meat and produces tender, juicy and flavorful lamb. I particularly love the use of fennel and mint in this dish. It’s just the perfect complement to the lamb. All of the ingredients were easy to find, and the method for creating the recipe was simple. You should use a really good wine for this dish; it makes all the difference. The authors are correct in that the lamb tastes even better the next day. I also like this recipe because I can pop it in the oven and do other things for a couple of hours.
Jan 02, 2010
Lamb, tomatoes, ginger, AND pinot noir? With those favorite ingredients, along with a lovely pile of others, I couldn’t resist trying this month’s choice. Wasn’t disappointed, either. Flavors blended beautifully—cinnamon and fennel sweetness balanced by the tartness of lemon and ginger, but not overpowering the lamb’s earthiness. This dish is sort of a cross between a Provencal daube and a Moroccan couscous. What a lovely reward for all the chopping and letting the cooking smells take over the house.
Jan 02, 2010
These were the best lamb shanks I’ve ever made. This is now my go-to lamb shank recipe. The aroma while cooking and the flavor of the finished dish were delectable. The meat was falling off the bone by the end of the cooking time and was wonderfully moist and tender. The braising liquid was, in itself, a great dish. I served some of the left over liquid over rice a few days later.
Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks Recipe © 2008 Jon Shook | Vinny Dotolo. Photo © 2008 Kathryn Russell. All rights reserved.