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by Mario Batali
One of my favorite preparations of braised lamb is this recipe of lamb shanks with leeks and grapes. If you're feeling ambitious, make your own stock. Homemade stock isn't imperative but it will change the quality of the liquid and therefore the finished dish. Stocks can be frozen for weeks, so double your batch and store the stock for your next braise (or soup or risotto).
Use a rich grape, like Concord, to bring a sweetness to the meat. Cook slowly and you can't go wrong.
Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Grapes Recipe
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook time: 3 Hours
Yield: Serves 8 to 10 as a main course
Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Grapes Recipe Ingredients
10 large, meaty lamb shanks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Spanish onions, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
18 garlic cloves
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 leeks, white and light green parts only, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into thing half-moons, rinsed thoroughly and drained
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup basic tomato sauce (for quick results, try my Mario Batali pasta sauces)
3 cups brown chicken stock
2 cups red grapes, wine grapes such as Sangiovese, or, even better, Concord grapes, halved and seeded
Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Grapes Recipe Directions
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Rinse and dry the lamb shanks, and season them liberally with salt and pepper. In a very large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the lamb shanks, 5 at a time, and seat until dark golden brown all over, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Remove the shanks and set them aside.
Add the onions, garlic, carrots and leeks to the pot, and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the wine, tomato sauce and stock to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Return the lamb shanks to the pot and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot tightly, place it in the oven, and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender.
Remove the pot from the oven, check the sauce for seasoning, and then add the grapes. Stir them in gently, and serve directly from the pot.
Braised Lamb Recipe, Braised Lamb Shanks, Italian Cuisine
Mario Batali's Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Grapes Recipe
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