The flavors in this recipe are reminiscent of the Italian dish osso buco (though we use lamb shanks instead of veal). If you can't find three-quarter-pound lamb shanks, try using one-pound cuts or the closest weight you can find. Ask your butcher for help.
6 (3/4-pound) lamb shanks, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt-added petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 300°.
To prepare lamb, sprinkle lamb evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large, wide Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb, and cook for 12 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove lamb from pan.
Add onion, carrot, and celery to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add red wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Return lamb to pan; stir in tomatoes, beef broth, and 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary. Bring to a boil.
Cover Dutch oven; place in oven. Bake at 300° for 2 hours or until lamb is tender. Remove lamb from pan; set aside and keep warm. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper to pan; bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until sauce is reduced to about 3 1/2 cups (about 30 minutes), stirring frequently. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; cook 30 seconds or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
To prepare polenta, bring chicken broth, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese. Serve immediately with lamb and sauce.
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I have used this recipe many, many times. I have done it on the stove and also in the slow cooker. If the shanks are large, I have the butcher cut them so they will fit into my pot or slow cooker. I do season them first and then dredge them in flour before browning as I find this does a better job of thickening the liquid then the tiny amount of cornstarch suggested. Some crusty bread is nice on the side, and, if you like, a crisp salad -- but this has plenty of vegetables in it to make it a one dish meal. A nice red wine goes well, too.
Excellent recipe for both lamb and polenta. I made the lamb shanks 24 hours in advance; next time I will skim the fat from the sauce before reheating. And I do my polenta in the microwave: 8 minutes at high; 9 minutes at 70%, stirring every 3 minutes; let stand for 5 min.
This is such a great recipe! I served it at a dinner party and got rave reviews from all attending. It is restaurant-quality and amazing that it is a "light" recipe. Don't substitute the polenta- it greatly compliments the lamb. I served it with simple grilled proscuitto-wrapped asparagus spears and crusty sourdough french bread to sop up the delish sauce. It is also a relatively simple recipe, with the most time-consuming (but necessary) part being the browning of the shanks. Probably the best CL recipe I have made (and I usually do around 5 CL recipes/week). A+++++
Loved, loved, loved the sauce! The polenta was really good too - I subbed gorgonzola for the parmesan. I didn't like the shanks though - so hard to get the meat off! Next time I would make this recipe using lamb stew meat instead.
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