Sunday, June 20, 2010

Braised Lamb Shanks with Vino Cotto and Lemon

This hearty dish not only provides great winter comfort, it fills the kitchen with delicious aromas that entices one (well, me) to open a full bodied red wine!  The balance of sweet and sour flavours in this dish is a twist on the traditional braised lamb shank recipes.  I used the classic french technique of frying off a tablespoon of sugar when browning the shanks.

This recipe is in approximate quantities and will provide for 3 servings.  I have allowed one shank for each person.
3 frenched lamb shanks
1/4 cup pl flour
salt and pepper
1 tblsp brown sugar

3 small white onions cut into quarters
3 cloves of garlic chopped
3 tblsp olive oil
400g tin of cherry tomatoes
1 litre of beef stock
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 of whole lemon (washed, with skin on)
tblsp vino cotto
1 parsnip chopped into batons
1 whole sprig of rosemary (approx 10cm length)
10 whole sage leaves
1 stick celery and a handful of leaves
Extra salt and pepper to taste
Parsley chopped.
Zest and juice of 1 extra lemon

Preheat oven to 150C.

Add floured and seasoned lamb shanks to a medium hot frying pan with oil to brown off.  Add sugar to lamb shanks and continue to fry off until brown but not burnt. Watch as this can burn easily.

Place the lamb shanks and cooked sugar into a large enough oven proof casserole dish to hold all ingredients.  In a large saucepan bring to a simmer, stock, wine, garlic, onion, tomatoes, 1/4 lemon and extra juice of 1 lemon, parsnip, rosemary and sage, then add to the shanks in the casserole dish.  Add vino cotto.

Place into preheated oven for 1 and 1/2 hours.  Remove from oven and  add celery and leaves, salt and pepper to taste and return to oven cooking for another half hour.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest. Serve with creamy, buttery mashed potato, polenta or quinoa.


This dish works well with a hearty Shiraz.
Photo by Steve Shanahan