Braised Lamb Shanks
Bring the cozy flavors of fall to your Thanksgiving table with this delightful, braised lamb shank recipe featuring a silky tomato passata.
1 tablespoon Blood orange zest, finely grated
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
12 each garlic cloves, grated
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, toasted and roughly crushed
1/4 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
6 3 in thick lamb shanks
2 3/4 pounds ripe Texas tomatoes, halved equatorially
2 each jalapeno chile pepper
6 each garlic cloves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 medium red onions, minced
2 stalks celery, small diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 fresh bay leaf
3 fresh thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 each tomato leaves or stems
6 cups burnt onion dashi
- Dry Brine the Shanks
- 1. Place orange zest, rosemary, grated garlic, and peppercorns in a medium bowl.
- 2. Stir in the kosher salt until well combined. Set the pork shanks in a large roasting.
- 3. Rub the salt mixture into the meat, packing it all over the shanks and into the crevices. Transfer
- to the refrigerator, and dry brine for 24 hours.
- 4. Remove the shanks from the refrigerator and rinse off the salt.
- 5. Pat the meat dry and arrange the shanks on a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
- 6. Return the shanks to the refrigerator and let rest, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours or until they
- feel dry and tacky.
- Make the passata
- 1. Set a bow grater inside a large bowl.
- 2. On the small teeth of the grater rub the tomatoes’ cut sides until nothing but their skins
- remains. Discard the skins.
- 3. Transfer 2 cups of the grated pulp to a small bowl and set aside.
- 4. There should be about 2 1/2 cups of pulp remaining in the large bowl.
- 5. Finely grate the jalapenos and stop at the stems, and 3 of the garlic cloves.
- 6. Stir in the pulp and 2 tablespoons olive oil into large bowl with the tomato pulp.
- 7. Cover and refrigerate tomato-jalapeno pulp or passata until ready to use. (Will hold it for one
- day in the fridge.)
- Build the braise
- 1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to just fit inside a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and
- coat the pot with olive oil.
- 2. Once the oil is shimmering-hot, place as many shanks as will fit comfortably in the pot, laying
- them on the sides.
- 3. Lower the heat to medium and brown the shanks at a steady, controlled sizzle until they easily
- release from the pot and turn to a deep golden brown.
- 4. Rotate the shanks, searing all sides in this fashion. Once the meat is evenly browned all around,
- transfer to a platter and brown the remaining shanks.
- 5. Cook each batch at least 15 minutes to thoroughly sear. Meanwhile, if the fond gets too dark,
- remove the meat and deglaze the pot with splashes of water; pour the drippings into a small
- bowl and set aside.
- 6. Wipe out the pot, reheat, re oil, and continue browning the shanks until all is done. Set brown
- shanks aside.
- 7. Wipe out the pot and reheat, re oil and continue browning the shanks until all are done.
- 8. Set all the browned shanks aside.
- 9. Pour off the fat from the pot while keeping the fond in place.
- 10. Set the pot back over medium heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon EVO and the butter.
- 11. Once the butter melts, stir in the onions, celery, and carrots.
- 12. Pound the remaining 3 garlic cloves into a rough pulp and stir into the pot, making sure to
- scrape up all the fond stuck to a base.
- 13. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently sauté the sofrito for 15 minutes or until the
- vegetables are softened but do not color. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes or until
- the paste cooks into the vegetables.
- 14. Increase the heat to medium and stir in bay leaves, thyme, vinegar, unseasoned tomato pulp,
- and tomato leaves or stems into the pot. Scrape up all the fond and combine with the pulp.
- 15. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook it down for 5 minutes or until half of it evaporates. Return
- shanks to the pot and arrange so the shanks bones are standing straight up.
- 16. Spoon the vegetable matter all over the shanks and increase the heat to medium high. Pour
- burnt onion dashi or chicken broth into the pot with the shanks that are 3/4 submerged.
- 17. Bring Liquid to just below a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low, maintaining a gentle but
- steady simmer. Cover with the parchment and braise the shanks for 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours. Every
- 20 minutes baste and flip the meat and turn the pot 90 degrees. The sauce simmers down and
- thickens toward the end of cooking. Make sure to stir often to avoid scorching (if you burn
- anything at this point it will ruin the whole dish.)
- 18. Let the shanks cool in the braising liquid then set the pot in the sink filled with ice water and
- cool till room temp. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours and will hold for 3 days.
- Finish and Serve
- 1. Remove the braise from the refrigerator and skim off any fat that has congealed on the surface.
- 2. Gently rewarm dish over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. After about 30
- minutes the shanks should be warmed through stir in reserved jalapeno-tomato passata.
- 3. Continue simmering the braise, while consistently basting the meat, until the sauce thickens and
- coats the shanks.