Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine
6 lamb shanks, about 1 1/4 pound each
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
8 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups dry red wine, (about 1 bottle)
2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
4 ribs celery, cut into large dice
4 carrots, cut into large dice
1 large onion, peeled and cut into about 8 wedges
1 cup thickly sliced mushrooms
5 (3-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
1. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
2. Season the shanks with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. In a large, high-sided ovenproof pot, heat the oil until barely smoking. Sear the shanks in batches on all sides until golden brown. Put all the shanks in the pot; add the peppercorns, bay leaves, stock, wine, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, and mushrooms. Put the pot in the oven and cook, turning the shanks every 1/2 hour, until the meat is very tender but still on the bone, about 2 hours.
4. Remove the shanks and some mushrooms and onions and cover them with foil. Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan, degrease carefully, and simmer gently until its flavor is intensified and its volume is reduced by about a third. Serve the shanks on top of the white bean purée; ladle the sauce over the lamb. Serve some of the mushrooms and onions on the side.
Makes 6 servings.
Cooking tip: If making ahead, refrigerate the shanks and cooking liquid separately. Before reheating, remove the fat from the liquid. Put the shanks and the liquid in a covered roasting pan in a 400°F (220°C) oven for about 20 min.