Monday, August 17, 2009

Lamb Shanks with five Heads of Garlic

There already is a lamb shanks recipe here somewhere I think but I tried a new one yesterday and thought I'd share it. I like it because as a lazy cook I am always looking for shortcuts. You have to braise this lamb first, it braises in the oven really, which is fine with me.
The recipe is from the Aragon region of Spain.
If you are not a garlic fan, move on to something else. If you are, this smells great while it is cooking and tastes delicious.

3 or 4 lamb shanks
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium onions cut into wedges
2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
1 head of garlic separated into cloves and peeled, then lightly smashed
4 heads of garlic with the outer skin removed
Olive oil
3 large rosemary sprig
3/4 cup white wine
About 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock

Pre-heat the oven to 475 F

Brushs the lamb with olive oil then rub the lamb with salt and pepper.

Take out your heavy cast iron pot or dutch oven with a lid (If there is no lid tin foil will do in a pinch) and put the onions, carrots and garlic in the bottom of the pot. Pour in a bit of olive oil and stir them up until they are coated. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place the shanks on top of the vegtables then tuck in the heads of garlic and the rosemary between the shanks. Brush everything with a bit more olive oil then put the pot into the oven uncovered.

At the 25 minute point check to make sure the vegetables at the bottom of the pot are not starting to burn. If they are add a little water. Bake the shanks for about total of 45 minutes at 475 F.

After 45 minutes take out the pot and turn the heat down to 425. Add the wine and the stock until the cover the shanks and the heads of the garlic about half way. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and pop it all back into the oven.

Bake the lamb shanks for about 2 more hours turning them a couple of times during this period.

Move the shanks, vegetables, garlic heads and all onto a serving platter. The pan juices are ready to go and serve as a delicious gravy. It they are thinner than you like reduce them on the stove top.

Serve with a fresh vegetable and potatoes.