Lamb shanks are usually (but not always) less expensive than other cuts of lamb; save this recipe for when you find a good price on them. Cooking in liquid over low heat increases their tenderness. Serve with the vegetables that roast alongside the lamb and some mashed potatoes.
- 4 lamb shanks (12 to 16 ounces total)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed
- Trim any excess fat and obvious tendons from the lamb shanks. Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb with the flour, salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. Add the lamb to the pot and cook, turning to brown evenly. Remove the lamb from the pot and set aside.
- Pour out and discard the oil from the pot and add the broth and the wine. Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Return the meat to the pot, cover, and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Add the carrots to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Just before serving, stir the mushrooms into the pot. Serve the individual lamb "roasts" with the braised vegetables. Pour the sauce over the lamb and vegetables.
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