Braised lamb shanks!! If you are a lamb lover like our family, I am betting you will love this recipe for Braised Herb Lamb Shanks! The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and full of flavor from the herb blend, wine and beef broth. And wait till you taste that sauce, it is perfect with mashed potatoes.
Braising is one of my favorite cooking techniques. A long, slow braise will magically transform an inexpensive, tough cut of meat into an impressive meal creation that you will be proud to serve to your most discriminating guests.
Lamb shanks are a perfect cut for this braising method. They are a large bone, muscular cut of meat. Also, they need a lot of liquid and a long, slow cook time to tenderize those tough muscles and release their flavor.
How to braise:
Braising always begins with a good seasoning of the meat. Next, giving it a nice brown sear in a hot brasier or Dutch oven is a must.
Flavor aromatics of onions, celery, carrots, garlic are the usual components and we added fennel and fresh herbs as well. Plus, a lot of liquid is required to soften up those tough fibers.
We used a combination of red wine and beef broth. Braising can be done on the stovetop or in the oven. We chose the oven for our braised herb lamb shanks.
This is not a difficult recipe. Most of the work is done at the beginning of the process with the browning of the shanks. All the chopping and sautéing of the aromatics can be done in advance.
I actually browned the shanks and lightly sautéed the vegetables the day before and refrigerated them. The next day all I needed to do was add the broth and wine. Once you add the liquid, the oven takes over for the next three hours.
Finishing the braised herb lamb shanks:
After the shanks get tender transfer them to a plate and cover them with foil to rest. Make a sauce with the remaining braising liquid and vegetables. You will need to strain them through a fine-mesh strainer and press the vegetables down to extract as much of their good flavor as possible.
Add that rich braising liquid to a saucepan along with a dash of Worcestershire sauce for a little Unami taste.
Next, boil the braising liquid until it becomes reduced to two cups. Add a paste made from butter and flour (Beurre Manie) into the liquid to slightly thicken the sauce.
What is a Beurre Manié?
The butter/flour paste is a French method known as Beurre Manié and it is a great last-minute thickener. I personally prefer the Beurre Manié of thickening over making a roux which usually gives me lumpy sauces.
Using a Beurre Manié paste will consistently give me a lump-free, smooth sauce.
The finished product is a tender, meaty, flavor-bursting lamb shank served on a mound of mashed potatoes and a rich, silky sauce poured over the top. Yum! Try this recipe soon! Braised lamb shanks are so easy to make.
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Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 697 Total Fat 38g Saturated Fat 13g Cholesterol 195mg Sodium 526mg Carbohydrates 9.5g Sugar 2.3g Protein 58g