Okayyyyyyyyyyy, the last of the major holidays just passed but I didn’t want it to end. Have you ever had an overwhelming need to hang out with your family? For weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas- I was yearning some quality time with them. I can’t be the only one that this happens to right?Some factors played into that need, I recently started working at a new job and I haven’t been spending much time with my family. So I made slow braised lamb shanks for dinner. If that doesn’t spell I love you in food terms I don’t know what does.
PSA: Now it is ready to go in the oven and chill for a few hours!
2nd PSA: After 2 hours this is what you should see! Annnnnnnnnd I won’t even talk about the smell!
Now back to what I was saying: I never thought adjusting to this job would be this hard. I haven’t really figured out balancing all these new responsibilities with my home life. I was talking with my cousin and she said the “realest” thing ever- It is hard out here in these streets.
So I guilted my family to come back over for Sunday dinner. We always manage to spend tons of time together during the holiday season but then I kinda go through a withdrawal of sorts. I really really like them. no one can make you laugh like your family. I love em!
And can I talk about this gravy for a minute? It is as if the carrot, celery, tomato, lamb and ALL those herbs decided to have a part in this pot. Everything blended so well together. I have to confess, I had more than my share of gravy.
Nom on my friends!
Minimum fuss with maximum flavor is the best way to describe this slow braised lamb shanks recipe. Tons of herbs add fresh flavor to this recipe.
- 2 large Lamb Shank (4 small lamb shanks will do as well)
- 1 large bunch Fresh rosemary approx .75 oz
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 1 small bunch Thyme approx 5 sprigs
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cups Chicken Stock Just enough to slightly cover shanks
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin podwer
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 cup fresh plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 large bunch mint and thyme (for gravy)
- 2 carrots chopped
For the lamb:
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Slash the fat side of the lamb all over with a sharp knife. Rub the lamb all over with salt and pepper. Heat a pan with olive oil. Brown all the side of the lamb shanks. Remove from pan.
Lay half the sprigs of rosemary and half the garlic cloves on the bottom of a cast iron dutch oven( or any oven safe pan). Place the shanks in the pan on top of the rosemary and garlic, and put the rest of the rosemary and garlic on top of the lamb.
Add stock and all the other ingredients in the pot. Stir everything together, cover and put in the oven to stew for 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone and the sauce is thick.
Note: You might need to add more water or stock as you go.
Take it out of the oven and allow to rest for 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove the Lamb Shanks from the pots. Skim off the fat. Pour away most of the fat from the pan, discarding any bits of herbs. Reserve approximately 2 cups of stock. Add 1 Tablespoon butter and mix in the flour. Add the stock, stirring and scraping all the sticky goodness off the bottom of the pan. Allow to reduce and thicken.
Finely chop the mint and thyme- add it to the sauce. Add the red wine vinegar at the last minute. Serve warm over mashed sweet potatoes.