LAMB SHANKS BRAISED IN BORDEAUX WITH WHITE BEANS

LAMB SHANKS BRAISED IN BORDEAUX WITH WHITE BEANS (for four)

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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


  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Uncover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb shanks are tender, about 1 hour more.
  1. Meanwhile, make the gremolata. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and set aside.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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

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