Red Wine Glazed Lamb Shanks
In a restaurant setting, braises like these red-wine lacquered lamb shanks are often reheated in a saute pan for service after cooking and cooling the night before, which makes for easy, heat-and-serve dinner if you plan ahead. The braising liquid, as chef shows here, can be reduced down to a syrupy consistency and basted over the meat, giving you a richly glazed end product, if you have the time and desire. Chef loves this method so much, that it’s part of our ongoing You Tube series, see that video here.
If you want to make this recipe with more than two shanks, chef reccomends doing it in a roasting dish that could be set over multiple burners, or using a baster or long spoon.
This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef. Each shank will serve a single, hungry person.
Red Wine Glazed Lamb Shanks
- Deep oven-safe braising dish
- 2 cups dry red wine
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup meat stock vegetable stock, or water
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
- A few small sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Zest of ½ an orange peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for finishing
- 2 quarts water
- 1/4 cup salt
- The day before cooking, mix the two quarts of water with the salt until dissolved, then add the lamb shanks and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Preheat and oven to 300F. Bruise the herbs and orange peel by crushing them lightly with the back of a knife to release their aroma.
- Remove the shanks from their brine. Discard the brine. Mix the wine, shanks, and all ingredients except the butter into a casserole or dutch oven.
- Bake, covered with parchment and a lid, until the lamb shanks are just tender, and barely give when pierced, about 2-2.5 hours. Cool the lamb shanks in their liquid, then strain the liquid and reserve. Be careful not to over cook the shanks--they should not fall apart.
- To serve the shanks, in a large pan, (10 inches should be ok) warm the lamb shanks and their braising juice on medium-high heat. Reduce the liquid slowly until it starts to become syrupy, then whisk in the butter to thicken it, being careful not to break the sauce. Baste the shanks as much as you can to glaze them with the juice while it reduces, which will coat them with a glossy sauce. If the sauce starts to reduce too quickly, add a little water to adjust the thickness and prevent it from breaking and getting oily.
- To finish, remove the pan from the heat as the sauce thickens, basting constantly with the sauce. When the shanks look glazed and shiny, double check the seasoning of the sauce, adjust as needed, then serve immediately.