Braised Lamb Shanks Print Email

Break out the pressure cooker and this dish can be done in just over an hour.

2 lamb shanks, split
Tony's Steak and Roast or Porterhouse Seasoning
All purpose flour, for dusting
2 TBS oil
1 cup carrot, finely minced
1 cup onion, finely minced
1/2 cup celery, finely minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup red wine
2 cups low sodium beef stock (More Than Gourmet Glace di Viande suggested)
1 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS Taste No5 Umami Paste (optional)
sprigs of fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and curls of orange zest
Superfine flour, or a cold water and flour or cornstarch slurry

Season shanks, and then toss in flour to coat; shake off excess. Heat a Dutch oven or a heavy oven safe pot / casserole pan over medium high flame; add oil and shanks, browning on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Add minced veggies and garlic and saute until soft. Add wine and reduce by half, add stock and tomato paste (and umami paste, if using) and bring to a boil then pour over shanks. Tie the herbs large and curls of orange zest (cut from an orange with a veggie peeler) together with twine and add to pan.

Cover with a tight fitting lid and roast at 300 degrees until shanks are tender (about 2-3 hours), turning and stirring pan once and adding water, wine or stock if there is excess evaporation.

Skim fat if needed, remove herbs and thicken sauce as desired with sprinkles of superfine flour or flour slurry, stir and scrape bottom until thick (about 1 TBS flour per cup of liquid). Sauce can also be thickened by pureeing the softened vegetables with the cooking liquid. Serve over Creamy Cheese Polenta or mashed potatoes.

- Chef Mick (Michaelangelo) Rosacci, --

* Quick Pressure Cooker Directions: Prepare as above, browning shanks in pressure cooker pot, remove and saute veggies and then reduce wine as above. Reduce the water in the stock by half (making the stock extra rich) and add everything except the thickening flour to the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 50-60 minutes and chill rapidly / reduce pressure under cold water. Remove lid, remove shanks, bring to a boil and thicken as above.

Creamy Cheese Polenta

1/2 bag Quick Cooking Polenta, about 8 oz
1 liter Salted water or stock
4-6 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup warm cream or half & half, to taste
softened butter, to taste

Bring water or stock to a boil, add polenta and whisk briskly until combined - about 3 minutes. Reduce heat and whisk in cheeses. When melted, whisk in cream or half & half to thin polenta to desired consistency. Remove from heat, stir in butter and spoon onto a plate. Serve immediately topped with braised meats and sauce.

Variation: Substitute cheeses with a generous amount of creamy gorgonzola.