Lamb shanks are rich in gelatin and exude the characteristic flavour of the animal. Braising is the logical method for cooking them; several hours in a pot render lamb shanks sumptuously tender. A minimum amount of liquid is added to the braising pot and the flavourful juices the shanks release combine with vegetables, herbs and garlic to form a richly scented sauce.Water or red wine can be used for the liquid.
For the Shanks:
1. Have the butcher saw off 2 inches of the bone at the foot end of the shank (foreleg); otherwise the shanks are unwieldy. Trim the fat off the shanks, leaving only a thin layer. You will need a large pan with a lid that fits tightly for cooking the shanks.
2. Preheat the pan over low heat.
3. Meanwhile, lightly salt and pepper the shanks.Lay the shanks side-by-side without crowding. Brown the shanks on all sides, allowing about 15 minutes per side. The shanks should sizzle gently in the pan. This will take about 1 hour. When brown, remove from the pan.
4. Add the carrot, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes to release their flavour, stirring occasionally.
5. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of water, scraping up all the brown bits adhering to the bottom.
6. Add 1 more cup of water, the thyme sprigs, and the celery leaves, and set the shanks on top.
7. Adjust the heat to the barest simmer and cover tightly, so no steam escapes. Braise the shanks for 2 hours, undisturbed.
8. Remove the shanks from the pan and keep them in a warm place while you finish the sauce. 9. Pass the cooking juices, aromatic vegetables, and garlic through the fine blade of a food mill into a clean pan.
10. Warm the sauce over low heat, pepper it generously, and thin it if necessary with a little water so that it remains slightly viscous but still pours in an even stream.
For the Gremolata:
The Shanks are freshened at the last minute with a Gremolata of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. It is a good idea to chop and combine the ingredients just before you serve the shanks so that thei freshness doesn't fade.
1. Mix together the Gremolata ingredients.
2. Serve the shanks on individual plates, pour the sauce over and round each, and then sprinkle liberally with the Gremolata.
For the Flgeolet Beans:
Lamb and beans go together famously. There are two cooking processes in making the gratin:
- First, the beans are cooked until tender in lamb broth (substitute beef broth or even water if you don't have time to make the lamb broth) with tomatoes, aromatic vegetables herbs and prosciutto hock.
- Second, when the cooking liquid is reduced, the beans are poured out into a baking dish, topped with bread crumbs and put in the oven to form a golden crust.
1. Warm the olive oil in a 6-quart non-corroding pot. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften slightly and release their perfume.
2. Add the thyme, tomatoes, prosciutto hock and beans. Cover with the broth and stir in the salt. Bring the beans to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hours.
3.Remove the cover, raise the heat slightly so that the liquid bubbles all over its surface, and allow the liquid to reduce over 30 minutes so that it is at the same level as the beans. When stirred, the beans should appear saucy.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Remove the prosciutto hock and thyme sprigs. Cut the meat and rind from the prosciutto, chop it into coarse bits, and add it to the beams.
6. Stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the parsley.
7. Pour the beans into a baking dish (10x8x2 inches). Mix the crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and Parmesan and spread them over the beans in an even layer.
8. Bake the beans in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the edges bubble and the crumbs are evenly browned.
Serve with the Braised Lamb Shanks.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (766g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 924 (69%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 102.7g||137 %|
|Saturated Fat 48.5g||242 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 39g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 4.6g|
|Cholesterol 837.7mg||258 %|
|Sodium 1591.4mg||55 %|
|Potassium 1537.1mg||40 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 31.6g||9 %|
|Dietary Fiber 3.1g||13 %|
|Sugars, other 28.5g|
|Protein 69.7g||100 %|
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Calories per serving: 1346
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