Prep 30 mins
Cook 4 hrs
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 3⁄4 lb mixed fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped (such as morel, shiitake, chanterelle, and domestic)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced onion (1/4-inch dice)
- 1⁄2 cup diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
- 1⁄2 cup diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups chicken stock or 3 cups canned low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups peeled seeded and chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned, depending on season)
- 1⁄2 lb dried orecchiette
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep, ovenproof pot over medium heat until hot.
- Season the shanks with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Remove to a plate.
- Raise the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms, and do not move them until they begin to brown, about 1 minute.
- Season with salt and pepper and sauté until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
- Remove to another plate and reserve for final assembly.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the pot, and heat until hot.
- Add the garlic and sauté briefly until light brown.
- Add the onion, carrot, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until light brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add the wine and bay leaf, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced by half.
- Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil again.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Return the meat to the pot, cover, and place in the oven to braise until fork tender.
- Test at 2 hours, but the shanks may take as long as 4 hours.
- Let the meat cool in the liquid to room temperature.
- Remove from the braising liquid and reserve separately.
- Skim off and discard the fat from the braising liquids.
- (The recipe may be made to this point a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. See Chef's Note.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add salt and the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour the defatted braising liquids into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, skimming the surface all the while.
- Add the basil and oregano.
- Return the shanks to the sauce and simmer gently just until heated through, then remove and keep warm.
- Add the mushrooms and pasta to the sauce and heat gently until warm through.
- Pour onto a large, deep platter or divide among plates and top with the shanks.
- Serve immediately.
- Variation: If you wish to serve the meat off the bone (which turns this into a pasta dish rather than meat on a bed of pasta), tear the meat into big chunks and return it to the sauce with the mushrooms.
- Cook just until reheated.
- Add the pasta, stir, and heat through.
- Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.
- Chef's Note: It is acceptable and even preferable to do this dish a day ahead.
- It is much easier to defat the braising liquid after it has been refrigerated.
- The meat can even cook while you sleep.
- For example, from midnight to 6:00 a.
- at 250°F.
- You can also cook the whole dish in a covered pot on the stove-top.
- There is a caramelization of flavors in oven braising that stove-top cooking does not replicate.
- If the shanks are cracked cut through the bone in the middle they will cook through to tenderness more rapidly, closer to 2 hours than 4 hours.
Delicious! These take some effort and time, but very well worth it. I used morels, shiitakes and button mushrooms which combined well together. The sauce was wonderful combined with the pasta and veggies. I highly recommend this.