Braised Lamb Shanks with Polenta

braised lamb with polenta

As a new cook, I thought this dish was spectacularly difficult and incredibly refined. I have kept it in my repertoire for many years and when I saw beautiful lamb shanks at the market recently, I pulled out this old friend. Although I now view it as a fairly simple recipe, it is nonetheless delicious and heartwarming.

Recipe for Lamb Shanks

6 lamb shanks

2 T olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

10 minced garlic cloves

1 bottle of dry red wine

28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juices

14 oz can of chicken broth

14 oz can of beef broth

5 t chopped fresh rosemary

2 t chopped fresh thyme

2 t grated lemon peel

Season shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Working in batches, add shanks to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add onions, carrots and garlic to pot and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Sitr in all remaining ingredients. Return shanks to the pot, pressing down to submerge. Bring liquids to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Uncover pot and simmer until meat is very tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer shanks to platter and tent with foil. Boil juices until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve over shanks and polenta.

Recipe for Polenta

2 3/4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups milk

3 minced garlic cloves

1 1/2 t chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 t salt

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

8 T grated or shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 2 Q dish. Bring first 6 ingredients to boil in a heavy, large saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook until cornmeal is soft and the mixture is thick and creamy, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 6 T parmesan cheese. Season with pepper.

Transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle with 2 T parmesan over polenta. Bake until heated through and golden on top, about 30 minutes.

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