Braised Lamb Shanks
For added flavor, Sam Hayward, chef of Fore Street in Portland, Maine, likes to grill his lamb shanks before braising them.
Yield: serves 4
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 shallots
- 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 bunch parsley, leaves chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh winter savory, leaves finely chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (small sprig), leaves finely chopped
- 4 lamb shanks
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. baby or small to medium turnips, trimmed (peeled and quartered, if necessary)
- 1⁄2 lb. small Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and trimmed
- 1 medium bulb celery root, peeled and cut into 1⁄2'' cubes
- 1 leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1⁄4'' rounds
- 1 bouquet garni (4 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs winter savory, 2 sprigs sage, and 1 sprig rosemary, tied with kitchen twine)
- 1 1⁄2 cups hard cider
- 6 cups rich Chicken Stock or meat stock
- Peel and mince 2 cloves of the garlic and 1 of the shallots, then transfer them to a large ceramic or glass baking dish. Add oil, parsley, savory, and rosemary to dish and mix well. Liberally season lamb shanks with salt and pepper, then transfer to baking dish and rub all over with the herb marinade. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 48 hours and up to 4 days, turning shanks in marinade periodically.
- Preheat oven to 275°. Peel and thinly slice the remaining garlic clove and set aside. Peel and chop remaining 2 shallots and set aside. Heat a large cast-iron pot or heavy-bottomed casserole over medium-high heat. Remove shanks from dish, discarding marinade, and add to pot. Cook until browned all over, 4 - 5 minutes. Add turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, celery root, leeks, bouquet garni, cider, and enough stock to just cover shanks and bring to a simmer. Partially cover pot and transfer to the oven to braise until meat is very tender when pierced with a fork, 4 - 6 hours, adding additional stock if needed to keep shanks barely covered. Discard bouquet garni and season to taste with salt and pepper.