Lamb Shanks Provençal
We love lamb shanks and I like to try different seasonings and sauces. This is perfect fall or winter fare for your family or close friends. I serve it over wide noodles, but mashed potatoes or celery root would be nice too. Also, in this version I call for a slow cooker, but you could also let these simmer on the back of the stove over very low heat for about 4 hours. You’ll know they’re ready when the meat is extremely tender and pulling away from the bone. For my money though, you can’t beat the convenience of a slow cooker. Wine Pairing Suggestion: Autograph Pinot Noir
- 1 medium onion
- a small bunch of fresh Italian parsley
- 1 medium carrot sliced into ¼ pices
- 2 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped (or 1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons cognac or other dark liquor – whiskey, bourbon, brandy
- 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
- coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- all purpose flour for dredging
- 4 lamb shanks about 1 pound each
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 oil cured black olives pitted and chopped
- Zest of one large lemon
- Peel and chop the onion and remove the stems from the parsley. Put the onion, garlic, carrot, tomatoes, stock wine, one teaspoon salt, tomato paste, cognac and Herbes de Provence in a good-sized slow cooker, large enough to hold your lamb shanks.
- Salt and pepper the lamb shanks and dredge lightly in flour. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the lamb shanks and brown thoroughly on all sides. You may have to do this in batches. Once they’re nicely browned on all sides, arrange the shanks in the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 6 hours on high, or on low for 8 – 10 hours. If the shanks aren’t submerged in the sauce, turn them over about half way through the cooking time.
- One hour before the dish is finished cooking, stir in the olives and lemon zest. Then leave the lid at an angle for the remainder of the cooking time, to allow the sauce to thicken a nit.
- To serve, place a mound of noodles (or whatever you like) in the center of a plate, put one shank on top and ladle over some of the sauce and vegetables.
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