Prep 15 mins
Cook 3 hrs
A tasty lamb recipe. If you want, you can leave out the beans and serve over mashed potatoes.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 (1 lb) lamb shanks
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 8 garlic cloves (6 unpeeled, 2 minced)
- 3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 (400 g) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 slice orange zest (optional)
- 500 -600 g butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1/2 squash)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 3⁄4 cup cooked cannellini beans (optional)
- Heat half the olive oil in a large pot or stove-top safe casserole dish.
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, add them to the casserole and brown well. Transfer the shanks to a plate.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and arrange two racks in the oven, one to hold the casserole and one to hold a baking sheet with the squash.
- Add the unpeeled garlic cloves, celery, carrots and onion to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until the liquid is very syrupy, about 10 minutes.
- Return the shanks to the casserole and add the stock and orange zest. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover the casserole and braise the shanks in the oven for 2-3 hours until the meat is very tender. Turn the shanks from time to time as they cook.
- Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven (along with the lamb) for about an hour, or until tender.
- In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic with the parsley and lemon zest (the "gremolata"). Set aside.
- Remove the shanks from the oven and transfer to a plate. Pass the sauce through a coarse strainer, pressing hard on the vegetables. Discard the vegetable pulp. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.
- Return the sauce to the casserole, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat until the sauce thickens as much as you like. I boil it for at least 10 minutes.
- Add the lamb shanks and squash; simmer just until warmed through. Add the cannellini beans if using, cover and remove from heat.
- Let stand for a few minutes to allow for the flavors to blend.
- Spoon the vegetables and sauce into 2 large shallow bowls and set the lamb shanks on top.
- Garnish with the gremolata and serve.
This dish is worth all the time it took to make, and for me, it took 24 hrs. The reason for this is as I read the instructions (very well done), I knew the lamb would be to fatty to just skim off the top. So after the lamb was fork-tender, I removed them, strained the stock, placed it in a bowl and refrigerated it overnite. The next day, I removed the now almost solid fat off the top, and continued with the instructions. I don't think I changed the outcome at all! The shanks completed cooking, the squash turned a bit browner then the picture, even though I covered with foil towards the end. Oh, one small change, instead of a piece of orange zest, I put a whole slice of orange(which was removed). My shanks came frozen from New Zeland and when I was ready to use them, I think they were still somewhat frozen at the bone, thus longer cooking time. So what was the end result? The smell alone was to die for! Some folks don't like the smell of lamb cooking...that is why I put in the whole orange slice, to deter that problem. They were so soft, that they were almost creamy in the mouth. This is a great dish for all you cooks that want to impress your MIL!...and she will be impressed!