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18 March 2005

Funk Week: Basque Lamb Shanks

I'm not a big fan of lamb chops, or lamb that is cooked any way other than slowwww roasted.  The taste is a bit too gamey/funky for me.

But when lamb is slow roasted, it becomes wonderfully full-flavored with earthy/funky accents.  I stumbled upon this recipe and then promptly modified it to my tastes.

BasqueBasque Lamb Shanks
4 Lamb shanks
4 T olive oil
8 Cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 Lbs Cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry red wine (a Spanish Rioja works well here)
1 cup Navy/Northern white beans
3 Thin slices of fresh lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.  Salt & pepper shanks.  Brown shanks in dutch oven/roasting pan over medium heat with 2 T olive oil.  Remove shanks and wrap in foil.
  2. Add 4 cloves of garlic and mushrooms.  Brown well.  Add chicken broth and wine to pan.  Return shanks to pan.  Sprinkle oregano over shanks and cover with lemon slices.  Bring broth & wine to boil.  Remove from heat.
  3. Roast covered in oven at 325F for 35 minutes per pound - or until meat falls off bone.  Baste with broth occasionally to keep meat moist.
  4. Meanwhile prepare beans.  If using dry beans, boil with 4 cloves of garlic until tender.  If using canned beans, bring to boil with garlic, cover, and simmer on low heat until meat is ready.
  5. Remove bones from shanks.  Add beans to meat and heat through.

Serve with pan sauce and lots of crusty bread.

The wine?  Something funky.  Try Chateau Musar, Rioja Gran Reserva, or Salice Salentino.  Or visit the Caveman's wine blog.  He'll show you some great wine.


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