Why? To me, fixing lamb shanks at home says Special Occasion because it doesn’t happen very often. It’s not difficult at all, and after 3-4 hours of mostly hands-off cooking you are rewarded with oh-so-tender meat falling off the bones and lovely pan juice to drizzle over top.
But the small amount of hands-on cook time - wrestling large pieces of meat around in hot oil and sizzling sauce – is likely to be smoky, messy, and swear-y. That’s why I say this is a family dish, not necessarily for company. (They’ve heard/seen it all before – wink!)
Why Else? This recipe comes from a funny smart-aleck named Zach Golden who has a profane and hilarious website and cookbook, both titled What the Fuck Should I Make for Dinner. If you enjoy sophomoric humor and bad language as much as I do, you will dig this. If not, well, the recipe is still good.
The Verdict: Tasty, meaty, comforting. This is ‘feel good’ food, especially when the lamb is perched on top of mashed potatoes (my favorite!) Be sure to skim the fat from the liquid, and then use the jus to add flavor and moisture to the meat. So good! Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe source: Zach Golden at What the F@#! Should I Make for Dinner
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 lamb shanks
- Salt and pepper
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 3 cups red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 325˚.
- Put a Dutch oven over high heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil. Season the lamb shanks with a shitload of salt and pepper, then put them in the pan. Sear the shit out of the lamb shanks until they are browned all over and the fucking neighbors can smell them, but don’t give them any. Remove the shanks for a few minutes.
- Add 3 more tablespoons oil to the pot and add the diced celery, carrots, and onion. Cook until they are fucking soft and sweet, about 10 minutes.
- Add the thyme and garlic, cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the wine and both stocks, raise the heat, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Put the lamb shanks back in the pot, seal that shit with aluminum foil or a lid, and put it in the oven. You didn’t forget to preheat the oven, did you? Goddamn right you didn’t.
- Cook that shit for 3-4 hours, uncovering after an hour. Skim the fat, serve, and be hailed as a god or at the very least a demigod.