Lamb Shanks Braised in Tomato Sauce with Lemon Gremolata

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Braised in a light tomato sauce and finished with lemon gremolata, these lamb shanks have Mediterranean overtones, which is why I like to serve them with buttered orzo or polenta.  That said, a bed of mashed potatoes is pretty good, too.

 

Lamb Shanks Braised in Tomato Sauce with Lemon Gremolata
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil, divided 25 mL
  3. 4 large lamb shanks (about 4 lbs/2 kg)
  4. 3 onions, finely chopped
  5. 2 stalks celery, diced
  6. 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  7. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 1 tsp dried thyme leaves or several whole sprigs, stems and all 5 mL
  9. 1 tsp each salt and cracked black peppercorns 5 mL
  10. 1 cup dry white wine 250 mL
  11. 1 cup chicken stock 250 mL
  12. 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
  13. Lemon Gremolata
  14. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  15. 1 cup finely chopped parsley 250 mL
  16. Grated zest of 1 lemon
  17. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 15 mL
Instructions
  1. 1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium-high heat. Add lamb, in batches, and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to stoneware as completed. Drain off fat from pan.
  2. 2. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tbsp (15 mL) of oil to pan. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in chicken stock and tomatoes with juice.
  3. 3. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until meat is falling off the bone.
  4. Lemon Gremolata: About half an hour before serving, in a small serving bowl, combine garlic, parsley, lemon zest and olive oil. Pass around the table, allowing guests to individually garnish their meat.
  5. Serves 4 to 8
Notes
  1. Tips
  2. Whether you cook the lamb shanks whole, halved or have them cut into pieces is a matter of preference. However, if the shanks are left whole, you will be able to serve only four people - each will receive one large shank.
  3. This recipe generates a lot of liquid, which I think works well if you're serving it over orzo or polenta. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the shanks with a slotted spoon, cover and keep warm. Transfer sauce to a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Meanwhile, combine 1 tbsp (15 mL) each softened butter and all-purpose flour until blended. Remove sauce from the heat and whisk flour mixture in for 1 minute, until slightly thickened.
  4. Make Ahead
  5. Complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you're ready to cook, complete recipe.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/
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Posted in Beef, Pork & Lamb, Gluten-Free, Recipes.

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