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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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