Friday, April 29, 2011

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks in Bordeaux

For Easter dinner, I decided to tackle lamb for the first time. It was a trial-and-error recipe, mixing different components I'd seen. What I liked least about the lamb were the cuts themselves; the lamb shanks were super fatty and by the time you cut all the fat out, there wasn't much meat left. However, I threw them in the slow cooker for the afternoon and they were cooked perfectly. Our side dishes were great (baked sweet potato and freshly made dill biscuits) and Dylan and I picked up a cannoli and a lobster tail from Mike's Pastries, one of the most famous food stops in Boston. All in all, the not-so-perfect lamb wasn't a huge disappointment, and throwing it in the slow cooker gave us time to dye eggs and enjoy the beautiful weather! I'd say that's a successful Easter.

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks in Bordeaux
Serves: 2  Prep: 30 minutes  Total: 5 hours 30 minutes

2 lamb shanks*
Salt and pepper
1/2 yellow onion
4 carrot sticks
6-8 cloves of garlic*
1 tbs rosemary
2/3 cup Bordeaux
~3 cups water
3 red potatoes
1 red delicious apple

*If I tried this recipe again, I would suggest using a lamb shoulder and omitting the garlic. It combated with the Bordeaux, but might be nicer with a milder wine like Sherry.

Press salt and pepper into both sides of the lamb shanks. Set aside.
Chop the onion into long strings and layer at the bottom of your slow cooker. Cut carrot sticks into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Place the lamb shanks on top of the onions in the slow cooker and add the carrots and whole garlic cloves around them. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of rosemary on top of the lamb.
Add 2/3 cup of Bordeaux wine into the slow cooker, then add water until the lamb shanks are just covered. Cook on high for two and a half hours.
At the halfway point add your red potato, chopped into quarters, and turn your heat to low. Cook for another two hours, then add cubes of apple and cook for a final 30 minutes.
Optional: Take 1/2 cup of juice from the slow cooker and heat in a small skillet on high for 5 minutes. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of flour to thicken and serve over lamb shanks.


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