Sunday, March 27, 2011

Braised Lamb Shanks in Tomato Sherry Sauce

Spring seems to have gone back into retreat for a while, so it's still good weather for a nice hearty braise. The combination of flavors here does something pretty wonderful. Serve with mashed potatoes for full and proper enjoyment.

4 lamb shanks
Salt and pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes and their liquid (canned; or thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup dry sherry
Chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the shanks in a roasting pan and brown in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the shanks brown, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the garlic and onion and saute over medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Add the carrots and saute over low heat until the shanks are done. Add the browned shanks to the Dutch oven, then pour in the tomatoes, sherry, and enough stock to cover the meat about halfway. Add the bay leave and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

When the meat is done, remove it from the Dutch oven and set aside temporarily. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Puree the cooking liquid (right in the pot with an immersion blender, or use a blender or food mill and then return it to the pot). Return the shanks to the pot with the sauce and keep on very low heat until ready to serve.

Serve hot, with mashed potatoes on the side, topped with sauce.

Serves about 4.

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