Thursday, January 7, 2010

Braised lamb shanks

I apologize for the piss-poor photo. I had to download it from somewhere on the web. When I finished cooking lamb shanks I was so hungry and yearning for the taste I knew would be there, that I wouldn't run upstairs to grab my camera - just chowed down. As is normally the case, I researched recipes, read about 6 of them, and then made a synthesized version that appealed to me. To be honest I don't remember if I've ever done lamb shanks before. If I did, it was eons ago.

Braised lamb shanks
(2 servings)
2 tbsp minced guanciale or 2 strips bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lamb shanks
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth, more or less

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place oven rack in lower 1/3 of oven.

Render the fat from the guanciale or bacon in a pan large enough to hold the shanks. Remove guanciale or bacon and drain on paper towels.

While the fat renders, season the shanks on all sides generously with salt and pepper. Brown them thoroughly in the fat (about 7-8 minutes total). Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and saute 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 2 more minutes.

Add the shanks, guanciale or bacon, and broth to the pan. The amount of broth is just enough to come 1/3 of the way up the shanks. Bring to a boil. If the pan you are using is oven-proof, cover it and place it in the oven for 2 hours. If necessary (it was for me) transfer to a large casserole and then bake. (I used the ceramic insert from my slow cooker. It was the only thing I had that was large enough.)

Serve over polenta or rice.

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