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Port Braised Lamb Shanks

3 hrs Cook
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NomNom Recipes 14 1

Amazing that dishes like the slow-cooked, port-braised lamb shank served in fine dining restaurants are actually made with a handful of everyday ingredients!

Red Wine Sauce Paired with classic lamb shanks slow-cooked in the ham, this recipe isn’t complicated…just patience to let them slow-cook. High-end restaurant ingredients are cheap!

Port Braised Lamb Shanks - NomNomWow
Port Braised Lamb Shanks – NomNomWow

Port Braised Lamb Shanks

I consider myself to be a pretty lighthearted chef, but regular readers know I have a few issues: one is pretty pictures of tasteless recipes. Another is recipes that require the use of expensive wines for cooking.

I love wine. And when I buy expensive wine, I want to drink it clean. 3 hours uncooked.

And I assure you that the finest restaurant critics would have a hard time telling the difference if they taste-tested these port-braised lamb shanks with expensive or cheap bottles of port. (And the New York Times agrees…)

There’s no denying that using a $50 bottle of port instead of a $10 bottle makes a difference. But the difference isn’t worth $40. i promise. These port braised lamb shanks taste very expensive, so you can tell your guests you used vintage 1980s port and they will believe you!

I truly believe that slow cooking can be amazingly effective, even with the simplest ingredients, and this is a spectacular example of that. My Italian Beef Ragu and Irish Beef Stew are no different.

And this leg of lamb braised in port wine is at the forefront. See this source. Glossy, rich, and flavorful.

Cooking Lamb Shanks

Lamb shank is one of my favorite slow cooking cuts. Cooking meat on the bone is the best way to slow-cook meat that: B. Served with slow cooked beef ribs and osso his buco. The meat is juicy and delicious, no doubt!

Lamb shank is a tough meat and should be cooked slowly until it melts. The cheaper and harder the part, the better. Lamb shank is no exception.

No need to prepare a knife. The meat is so tender that you need a fork. Or a spoon.

I made it in a dutch oven, but you can also make it in a slow cooker or oven.

When it’s fun, slow-cooked dishes like this are my go-to. They taste great that day, but they taste even better the next day, and the day after!

I love port braised lamb shanks with creamy mashed potatoes. I tried the cauliflower and polenta mashed potatoes and I don’t think it tastes as good as the old fashioned mashed potatoes.

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Port Braised Lamb Shanks

Port Braised Lamb Shanks

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Amazing that dishes like the slow-cooked, port-braised lamb shank served in fine dining restaurants are actually made with a handful of everyday ingredients!
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
3 hrs
servings
4
total time
3 hrs 15 mins

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks , approx 400g/13oz each (Note 1)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tbsp olive oil , separated

  • 2 garlic cloves , minced

  • 1 onion , finely chopped (white, brown, yellow)

  • 1 celery stalk , finely chopped (optional, but recommended)

  • 1 carrot , finely chopped (optional, but recommended)

  • 3 tbsp / 1/4 cup flour (35g)

  • 2 cups / 500 ml beef broth (liquid beef stock) (or sub with chicken broth)

  • 3 cups / 750 ml port (Note 2)

  • 1 1/2 cups / 375ml red wine , or more beef broth (Note 3)

  • 3 tbsp / 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 5 sprigs thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme

  • 3 dried bay leaves (or 5 fresh)

  • 4 stalks fresh parsley (optional)

  • TO SERVE

  • Fresh parsley , finely chopped

Instructions

1
Season lamb with salt and pepper.
2
Heat tbsp oil in a Dutch oven or large thick-bottomed saucepan over high heat.
3
Add 2 lamb shanks and cook, flipping until browned (see photo).
4
Remove remaining lamb and repeat.
5
Reduce heat to medium.
6
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, onion, carrot, and celery.
7
Saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are softened.
8
Add flour. Stir in onion mixture.
9
Add remaining ingredients. Mix - the mass is fine. It will crumble when cooked.
10
Please restore the lamb. The meat should be almost soaked. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cover.
11
After simmering for 2 hours (Note 4), remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
12
Put the lamb in the bowl

Notes

Lamb shanks come in all manner of sizes and cuts. Go for lamb shanks of a suitable size per serving, bearing in mind the size of your pot and that they will shrink by about 25% when cooked. Some lamb shanks come with the bone partially cut so they bend to fit into the pot, which is helpful. My lamb shanks were about 400g/13oz each and 4 fit inside a standard dutch oven, mostly submerged. They don't need to be full submerged in the liquid as the steam will cook the exposed surface (as well as browning them nicely) and they should be turned while cooking. ALTERNATE PROTEINS: This recipe is also be sensational made with beef cheeks and chunky beef ribs. It was a toss up which version to share, but I went for shanks because I think it looks grand! There is no need to use expensive port and wine for this! It will taste lovely even using discount end of line bottles which I use, however, if you do use expense bottles, then of course it will give it an edge. But I do not. I shop at Dan Murphy's and Aldi's for cheap bottles. I honestly believe that for slow cooked things, you can barely tell the difference whether you use expensive or discount liquor. The port I use is $10 for a 750ml/25oz bottle. You can use ruby or tawny port. By the time this has slow cooked, there is not much difference between the two except that ruby gives you a slightly redder sauce because ruby port is redder than tawny which is a deep brown colour. (Ruby port is younger, tawny is aged). Using red wine instead of more beef broth gives this a slight edge in the depth of flavour of the sauce, but not much. I often make it without red wine, using more beef broth instead. This step can be done in a 160C/320F oven (covered with foil or lid) for 2 hours covered then 30 min uncovered. Then reduce sauce on the stove per recipe. Or cook in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours, then follow recipe to reduce sauce on the stove. Straining the sauce makes it "restauranty" by making it lump free. This step is optional. This gets better overnight. To make ahead, follow the entire recipe then let cool, then refrigerate overnight in the dutch oven. Scrape fat off surface. Reheat on the stove or @180C in oven for 15 minutes (covered). To make this gluten free, omit the flour. When the lamb is cooked, remove it, then mix 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch with 2 tbsp water. Add into the sauce, mix and let it thicken. This recipe is inspired by these famous Beef Cheeks in Pedo Ximenez (Spanish Sherry), a recipe by Frank Camorra, an Australian chef and restauranteur. These beef cheeks are the signature dish at his Movida restaurants. Nutrition does NOT take into account fat skimmed off the sauce. If you leave this overnight, you will get more fat out of the sauce.
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