Braised Lamb Shank with Root vegetables in a red wine sauce

Braised lamb shank with root vegetables

Today is Dec. 7th, 2012 and to all of you that is Pearl Harbor Day.  To my family it is also my husband Steve's birthday!  We have a strong tradition that my mother started for us when we were very little.  She always asked us what our favorite meal was every time our birthday came around............ and she would then make it for our birthday dinner.   She always made us feel very special by doing this for us.  We were a family of 3 children, and it really made each of us feel our individuality on that day.
I continued her tradition with my family.  Steve used to pick some pretty boring and basic things...but, they were what he wanted, so he got it!  This year...we are going all out...after all, his palate has evolved to 52 years old!  I checked out my blog searchers for  this week yesterday and Sydney Australia had 3 searches for lamb!  This is very appropriate for an Australian to cook often with its abundance there.  There was a time in my business where I offered a braised lamb shank as a gourmet meal to sold out all the time!  This braises in zinfandel wine with winter root vegetables, mushrooms, and lardons,,,just like a beef bourguignon would.  The meat falls off the shank and makes an amazing sauce with full body flavors. You need time to get this started, but, then you just put it in the oven and let it cook for 4 hours......EASY!

We pair this with an amazing and special wine.  Chateauneuf du pape, this is a Cotes Du Rhone, French wine that is a perfect pairing with a slow braised lamb shank.  This is a wonderful dish for that special day of the year that we celebrate our loved ones special day! :)

Recipe: Braised Lamb Shank with Root Vegetables in a Red Wine Sauce


1 whole head of garlic
3 T. olive oil
1 4 lb. lamb shank
8 slices applewood smoked bacon cut into lardons..( 2 in. pieces)
8 baby golden potatoes (bite size or fingerling)
8 to 10 large bites of carrots ( large carrots peeled and cut into 3 in. pieces....)
8 medium mushrooms whole
1 bag of frozen whole pearl onions or an overflowing cup of fresh peeled ones....
1 medium chopped onion
1 bottle Zinfindel wine...........(using all but a healthy glass left over for YOU to enjoy while you cook!)
2 cups beef stock
3/4 c. flour
2 T. worcestershire sauce
1 t. tyme
1 t. oregano
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 T. butter
2 T. butter
Salt and pepper to taste when said in the instructions below....


Clean and Dry your lamb shank...salt and pepper both sides well.  In large cast iron dutch oven, add olive oil on medium high heat.  When hot add the shank and sear on both sides to a carmel brown color.  This will keep all the juices in the shank as it braises in the liquid. 
 Remove the shank and add the butter, the bacon lardons, and the chopped onion.  Saute for 4 minutes.  Add in the carrots, pearl onions and the mushrooms cook for 5 minutes stirring, salt and pepper this mixture to taste.  Add in the potatoes.
Deglaze the pan with the Zinfindel,,,enjoy your glass too!  Stir well.  Add the worcestershire, thyme, oregano, rosemary and beef stock.  Add the lamb shank back into the dutch oven.

Bake on 325 for 4 to 5 hours...depending on your oven.  You will know it is done when the shank meat is falling off the bone when you put your fork to it.

Last step and very important step.  Plate all the vegetables on a large serving plate, remove all twigs from the rosemary and top with the Shank.   Now, strain all the liquid from the pot and then return the strained liquid to the pot, bring the mixture to almost a boil.  Take a small bowl and put your flour into the bowl, when the liquid is really hot, add 1 to 2 cups of the liquid to the bowl and whisk very well.  This should create a paste, add the paste to the pot of liquid and whisk it in and continue to whisk for a minute or two, add in the 2 T. butter and the sauce should get very silky and shiny.....done,,now pour over the lamb and keep a cup or so for those that love extra gravy!  Garnish with Parsley and rosemary if you like and   ENJOY!