Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks with Gremolata

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red-wine-braised-lamb-shanks-with-gremolata

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks with Gremolata

Braising in the fall must be one of my favorite styles of cooking. It truly helps breaks down tough cuts of meat, and makes them fall-of-the-bone tender. All of the wine, stock, vegetables, spices and herbs combined create the most wonderful sauce. The sauce thickens as it cooks, without even adding any flour to it. It is important to use a good medium-to-full bodied wine that you can enjoy with dinner later. Gremolata is an herb and citrus condiment that really brings life to anything that is braised for a long period of time. The combination of chopped parsley, lemon and orange zest, minced garlic and olive oil is not only fragrant but also adds a clean bite to the meat. Smear gremolata over the lamb shanks when serving. I love my braised meats with simple mashed potatoes (or not so simple, if you add cheese, chives, spices, truffles, whatever you fancy) or polenta with Parmesan cheese. Even my two year old daughter loves this dish. A finishing touch- scattering plumped-up golden raisins over the plates. Simply microwave them in a little bit of water and let stand to absorb the liquid. If you end up with any leftover shanks and sauce, you can make it into a papardelle or penne pasta dish. Simply reduce the sauce (depending on how much of it you had left, it's so good!) in the pan, then add shredded lamb shank meat and cook for 5 minutes to heat it through. Once pasta is cooked al dente, add it to the mixture and let cook another 2-3 minutes. To brighten up the dish, add basil or parsley, fresh peas and lots of shaved parmesan on top!

red-wine-braised-lamb-shanks-with-gremolata-ingredients

Ingredients: lamb shanks, onion, celery, baby carrots, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon, red wine, chicken broth, olive oil, Spanish paprika, spicy harissa sauce.

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Lamb shanks.

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Season shanks on all sides with salt and pepper.

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Heat Dutch oven over medium-low heat, drizzle pan with vegetable oil. Brown shanks, two at a time, on all sides 3-4 minutes per side.

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Transfer shanks to a plate, set aside.

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Peel onion, cut it in half, slice each half thinly.

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Chop celery, medium dice.

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Wipe off excess fat from the pan, leaving all brown bits intact. Oil the pan lightly again; add onions and celery, season with salt. Sauté for 8 minutes, stirring often and don’t let them brown. Add garlic and cook it for 1 minute, stirring often. Add Spanish paprika, mix it with the vegetables, add harissa spice, mix everything again and cook for another minute or so, lower the heat if needed.

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Great wine is important in this recipe, pick something that medium to full bodied red wine and can be enjoyed later with dinner.

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Measure 2 cups.

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Add wine to vegetables to deglaze the pan.

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And herbs and let wine reduce in half. Then add chicken stock, bring to a boil and let it all cook for another 5-8 minutes, season stock with salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. As the stock will be reducing, the flavors and seasoning will deepen.

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Add shanks and carrots to the pot; make sure shanks are almost covered with liquid. Cover pot with the lid and cook on stovetop for 1 h 30 minutes to 2 hours, turning the meat once or twice. Then uncover the pot and cook shanks in the oven for another 30 minutes at 350F to brown them nicely. The sauce should reduce drastically, it will get a viscous consistency and will taste fantastic.

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To make gremolata: Zest whole orange.

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Zest whole lemon.

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Add chopped parsley, orange and lemon zest, olive oil to a bowl.

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Mince garlic finely.

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Add garlic and mix all the ingredients; season very lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

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Serve shanks over polenta with braised baby carrots. Pour the sauce over shanks and smeared gremolata on top, scattered golden raisins.

red-wine-braised-lamb-shanks-with-gremolata

red-wine-braised-lamb-shanks-with-gremolata

 

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks with Gremolata

recipe details

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in half, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6-8 baby carrots
  • 4-6 small thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons harissa sauce (I like to use Mina brand)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Gremolata
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Aleppo pepper
To serve
  • Polenta with Parmesan cheese or mashed potatoes
  • ¼ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water until plum
Equipment 12’’ Dutch oven

Directions

  1. Brown the shanks: Season shanks on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat Dutch oven over medium-low heat, drizzle pan with vegetable oil. Brown shanks, two at a time, on all sides 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer shanks to a plate, set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Wipe off excess fat from the pan, leaving all brown bits intact. Oil the pan lightly again; add onions and celery, season with salt. Sauté for 8 minutes, stirring often and don’t let them brown. Add garlic and cook it for 1 minute, stirring often. Add Spanish paprika, mix it with the vegetables, add harissa spice, mix everything again and cook for another minute or so, stirring often. Don't let the vegetables burn, lower the heat if needed. Add wine, herbs, bay leave and let the wine reduce in half. Then add chicken stock, bring to a boil and let it all cook for another 5-8 minutes, season stock with salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. As the stock will be reducing, the flavors and seasoning of the sauce will deepen.
  3. Add shanks and carrots to the pot; make sure shanks are almost covered with liquid. Cover the lid and cook on stovetop for 1 h 30 minutes to 2 hours, turning the meat once or twice. Then uncover the pot and cook shanks in the oven for another 30 minutes at 350F to brown them nicely. The sauce should reduce and become viscous, it should taste fantastic.
  4. To make gremolata: Mix all the ingredients; season very lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Serve shanks over polenta with braised baby carrots. Pour braising sauce over shanks and smeared gremolata on top, scattered golden raisins.

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