Perhaps it’s just my roots, but the thought of having tender, flavorsome lamb shanks instead of traditional turkey for Thanksgiving is rather appealing!
In my post on leg of lamb, I discussed the quality of lamb we get here in the USA. A cut that is often overlooked is the shank, which can either be from the front or back legs of the lamb. This is the part below the traditional leg or shoulder of the lamb. The back shanks are larger than the shanks from the front legs. Shanks consist of a longish, thin marrowbone with the leg muscles. This meat is very flavorsome when cooked slowly, in the presence of moisture.
Lamb shanks in red wine is another easy oven recipe.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 lamb shanks
- flour for dredging
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1-2 cups red wine
- hot water
- 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch
- cold water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the oil into a cast-iron pot or Dutch oven.
- Dredge the shanks with flour and arrange them in the pot with the onion and rosemary.
- Cover with a lid and bake in the oven at 350˚F for 1-2 hours until the meat is nicely browned.
- Remove the pot from the oven to the stovetop. Put the shanks aside and add about a cup of wine to the pot, stirring over medium-high heat, to remove the crispy bits from the base and sides of the pot. Add more wine or hot water so that there is a good 1-2 inches of liquid in the pot.
- Return the shanks to the pot, cover with lid, and bake in the oven - lowered to 300˚F - for a further 60-90 minutes until tender.
- Carefully transfer the shanks to a heated platter and keep them warm.
- Put the pot onto the stovetop, add a little more wine and/or water to the existing sauce if necessary, and bring to the boil, while stirring. Thicken to desired consistency with a little cornstarch mixed with cold water. Adjust the flavoring to taste.