LAMB SHANKS BRAISED IN BORDEAUX WITH WHITE BEANS (for four)
For the lamb shanks:
four 1-pound lamb shanks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
one 750 milliliter bottle full-bodied red wine, preferably Bordeaux
4 cups chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 fresh thyme sprigs
For the gremolata:
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 garlic cloves, minced
For the beans:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked white beans, preferably great northern or navy, rinsed if canned
2 to 2-1/2 cups chicken stock or store-bought low sodium-broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Turkish bay leaf or ½ California bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For finishing the sauce:
3 fresh tarragon sprigs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Make the lamb shanks. Pat lamb shanks dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown shanks well all over, in batches if necessary, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per batch, and transfer to a plate. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine, bring to a brisk simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 3 cups, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in stock, tomato paste and thyme and return shanks to pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring and turning shanks occasionally, for 1-1/2 hours.
- Uncover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb shanks are tender, about 1 hour more.
- Meanwhile, make the gremolata. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
- Make the beans. Heat oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans, 2 cups stock, butter and bay leaf and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding remaining stock as necessary to keep beans moist, until they have a creamy consistency, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf and stir in half of gremolata and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- When lamb shanks are tender, transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered with foil. Pour braising liquid through a sieve into a 3 to 4-quart saucepan; discard solids. Stir in tarragon and butter. Boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 2-1/2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Pour sauce through sieve into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, just before serving, reheat beans over low heat, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle lamb shanks with remaining gremolata and serve with beans and sauce.
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook