(Silence of the) Lamb Shank with Garlic

“Now it places the lotion in the basket.”

(I really just wanted to work “Goodbye Horses” into a post).

The shank is one of my most favorite cuts of meat to cook. I’m a fan of the tougher cuts that take time to break down. You have to take care of it, talk sweet to it, listen to it discuss its hopes and dreams if need be. In the end its always worth the wait. The meat will be near falling off of the bone and you’ll have a sauce of concentrated, flavorful, goodness that you’ll taste it for days.

For anyone curious, the shank is the portion of the leg right above the feet (see below). The animal uses this part of its body all of the time, therefore the shank is extremely tough and contains a lot of connective tissue which is why the cooking time is long.

 Lamb Shank with Garlic 

(This recipe serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 1/2 of a large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • red wine, apprx. 1 cup
  • tomato paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh rosemary, 3 sprigs
  • pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Garlic head, whole and unpeeled
  • Chicken or lamb stock, about 2 cups, possibly more depending on the size of dish used
  • salt to taste
  • 4-5 quart heavy bottomed pot
  1. Preheat the oven to 300. Heat the oil in the pot on high. Add the shanks and proceed to brown them on all sides. Remove from the pot when done.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions. Saute Onions for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute a minute longer.
  3. Stir in the red wine, tomato paste, rosemary, and pepper. Add the shanks and whole garlic heads.
  4. Pour in enough stock to cover the shanks halfway. Cover with a lid/foil and place in the oven.
  5. Let the shanks braise for about an hour, then carefully turn them over in the pot. Cook for another hour and repeat. Add stock if the liquid is getting too thick or is disappearing. let the shanks go for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours total. The meat is done when you can easily insert a fork into it and turn it with little to no resistance.
  6. When the shanks are done, remove them from the pot along with the whole garlic heads, and keep them warm. Strain the liquid if you desire (I prefer a smooth sauce) and return it to the pot. Place the pot over high heat and reduce the liquid until it is a thickened sauce. Correct seasonings as needed.
  7. Pour the sauce in a shallow bowl and gently place the shanks in the middle. Cut off the tops of the whole heads of garlic and serve them either with the shanks, or along side the meat with a baguette (the garlic will spread very easily on the bread).

The flavor of the sauce will blow your mind. I PROMISE!

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