My Grandmother's Braised Lamb
- 4 Lamb shanks, matched in size
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsps Olive oil
- 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup Porcini mushrooms, chopped
- 5 Mint leaves, chopped
- 2 Shallots, chopped
- 1 Red bell pepper, skinned and sliced
- 1 750 mL bottle of red wine
- 2 tsps Green peppercorns
- 1/4 cup Black olives
- 1 Sprig of rosemary
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Cloves of allspice
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Juniper berries
This is how I like to prepare it:
When you purchase the shanks, try to match them in size and have your butcher "crack" them in at least one place, or two is even better.
The day before serving; salt and pepper the legs, and in a large sauté pan brown them in olive oil on medium-high heat.
Remove the shanks and place in a pot. Add chopped garlic, chopped porcini mushrooms, chopped mint leaves, a couple of chopped shallots, and skinned and sliced red bell pepper to the pan and sauté until half cooked. Add a cup and a half of red wine, several green pepper corns, black olives, rosemary, 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves each of all spice, clove and juniper berries and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pour the contents of the sauté pan into the pot of shanks, add two quartered tomatoes, and fill with water to cover the shanks.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate over-night.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and then place the pot of shanks on the stove top at high heat until it starts to boil and then place uncovered in the oven and adjust the heat to a strong simmer (approx. 300 degrees).
Cook for a couple of hours turning the shanks over once or twice especially if the liquid evaporates and the lamb rises above the liquid. Determine "doneness" by placing a fork in the lamb to see how the meat falls off the bone.
When done, drain the lamb braising sauce through a colander into a pan and bring to a boil to reduce and thicken to your preference. Most people take out of the oven and use the sauce as is, but I like to reduce and thicken a bit. No need to add a thickening agent since the marrow from the bones will thicken the sauce. Place the shanks and the shallots, red peppers, olives, tomatoes, and mushrooms from the colander into the serving dish. Once you have the consistency of the sauce you like, pour the sauce over the shanks. The best part of this dish is sucking out the residual marrow from the cracked bones after eating the meat.