Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Braised Lamb Shanks

 I have never, in a million recipe searches, ever thought to take a gander at any lamb recipes.  It wasn't anything we grew up cooking at home.  It was simply a dish Mom would order at a restaurant every now and then but nothing I ever cared to try.

When my friend, Michael, cooked racks of lamb for a group of people one night I thought there was no way I was getting out of there with out at least trying it!  After that I was sold on its tastiness, but was still incredibly intimidated to cook it myself.

The stars seem to align when Michael is in the kitchen and even if the microwave is on fire, the plumbing in the sink is exploding and the dogs are chasing their tails in the backyard, something delicious is produced when Michael is cooking.

I, on the other hand, do not have the same kind of luck.

At least I wasn't deleting lamb recipes as soon as they hit my email anymore but I was still hesistant, until I came across this recipe.  It looked simple enough....all terms I knew fairly well, which is always a plus.  There weren't any crazy ingredients I would never be able to find in the store, so I thought I would give it a try.

It turned out to be absolutely sinfully delicious!  It was as simple as I had hoped, it was fall-off-the-bone tender and was perfect with some easy horseradish mashed potatoes and an arugula salad!

Braised Lamb Shanks

4 large lamb shanks
plaín flour
olíve oíl
2 red oníons , thínly slíced
2 garlíc cloves , crushed
1/2 cup balsamíc vínegar
l bottle red wíne , full bodíed
2 cans tomato purée
1 spríg of rosemary

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Dust the lamb shanks wíth flour and season. 
Heat a dutch oven and add a little butter and olive oil.  You want to make sure that whatever pot you are using also has an oven proof lid, like the below pictured Dutch Oven
Add the onions and cook until soft, then scoop out. 
Put in the lamb shanks and brown all over. 
Put the onions back in the pot with the garlic, balsamic, wine, tomato puree, rosemary and season.
Using the tomato puree can, pour in your wine and swoosh it around making sure to get every last bit of the tomato puree.
Keep tippin' that bottle up....making sure to get every last drop of course.
Don't worry....Mom will take care of those last few...

Cover, put ín the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone. 
Remove the lamb from the casserole and keep warm. 
Boil down the juices to thicken them if they seem too thin.  
Serve immediately, preferably with mashed potatoes of some sort!
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