Braised Lamb Shanks

Contributed by: Chef Michael Sanguinetti

Braised Lamb Shanks

Recipe type: Yield: 6 Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

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
an EVO
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


  1. Dry Brine the Shanks
  2. 1. Place orange zest, rosemary, grated garlic, and peppercorns in a medium bowl.
  3. 2. Stir in the kosher salt until well combined. Set the pork shanks in a large roasting.
  4. 3. Rub the salt mixture into the meat, packing it all over the shanks and into the crevices. Transfer
  5. to the refrigerator, and dry brine for 24 hours.
  6. 4. Remove the shanks from the refrigerator and rinse off the salt.
  7. 5. Pat the meat dry and arrange the shanks on a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
  8. 6. Return the shanks to the refrigerator and let rest, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours or until they
  9. feel dry and tacky.
  10. Make the passata
  11. 1. Set a bow grater inside a large bowl.
  12. 2. On the small teeth of the grater rub the tomatoes’ cut sides until nothing but their skins
  13. remains. Discard the skins.
  14. 3. Transfer 2 cups of the grated pulp to a small bowl and set aside.
  15. 4. There should be about 2 1/2 cups of pulp remaining in the large bowl.
  16. 5. Finely grate the jalapenos and stop at the stems, and 3 of the garlic cloves.
  17. 6. Stir in the pulp and 2 tablespoons olive oil into large bowl with the tomato pulp.
  18. 7. Cover and refrigerate tomato-jalapeno pulp or passata until ready to use. (Will hold it for one
  19. day in the fridge.)
  20. Build the braise
  21. 1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to just fit inside a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and
  22. coat the pot with olive oil.
  23. 2. Once the oil is shimmering-hot, place as many shanks as will fit comfortably in the pot, laying
  24. them on the sides.
  25. 3. Lower the heat to medium and brown the shanks at a steady, controlled sizzle until they easily
  26. release from the pot and turn to a deep golden brown.
  27. 4. Rotate the shanks, searing all sides in this fashion. Once the meat is evenly browned all around,
  28. transfer to a platter and brown the remaining shanks.
  29. 5. Cook each batch at least 15 minutes to thoroughly sear. Meanwhile, if the fond gets too dark,
  30. remove the meat and deglaze the pot with splashes of water; pour the drippings into a small
  31. bowl and set aside.
  32. 6. Wipe out the pot, reheat, re oil, and continue browning the shanks until all is done. Set brown
  33. shanks aside.
  34. 7. Wipe out the pot and reheat, re oil and continue browning the shanks until all are done.
  35. 8. Set all the browned shanks aside.
  36. 9. Pour off the fat from the pot while keeping the fond in place.
  37. 10. Set the pot back over medium heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon EVO and the butter.
  38. 11. Once the butter melts, stir in the onions, celery, and carrots.
  39. 12. Pound the remaining 3 garlic cloves into a rough pulp and stir into the pot, making sure to
  40. scrape up all the fond stuck to a base.
  41. 13. Reduce the heat to medium low and gently sauté the sofrito for 15 minutes or until the
  42. vegetables are softened but do not color. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes or until
  43. the paste cooks into the vegetables.
  44. 14. Increase the heat to medium and stir in bay leaves, thyme, vinegar, unseasoned tomato pulp,
  45. and tomato leaves or stems into the pot. Scrape up all the fond and combine with the pulp.
  46. 15. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook it down for 5 minutes or until half of it evaporates. Return
  47. shanks to the pot and arrange so the shanks bones are standing straight up.
  48. 16. Spoon the vegetable matter all over the shanks and increase the heat to medium high. Pour
  49. burnt onion dashi or chicken broth into the pot with the shanks that are 3/4 submerged.
  50. 17. Bring Liquid to just below a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low, maintaining a gentle but
  51. steady simmer. Cover with the parchment and braise the shanks for 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours. Every
  52. 20 minutes baste and flip the meat and turn the pot 90 degrees. The sauce simmers down and
  53. thickens toward the end of cooking. Make sure to stir often to avoid scorching (if you burn
  54. anything at this point it will ruin the whole dish.)
  55. 18. Let the shanks cool in the braising liquid then set the pot in the sink filled with ice water and
  56. cool till room temp. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours and will hold for 3 days.
  57. Finish and Serve
  58. 1. Remove the braise from the refrigerator and skim off any fat that has congealed on the surface.
  59. 2. Gently rewarm dish over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. After about 30
  60. minutes the shanks should be warmed through stir in reserved jalapeno-tomato passata.
  61. 3. Continue simmering the braise, while consistently basting the meat, until the sauce thickens and
  62. coats the shanks.

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