Lamb Shanks with Fennel and White Beans

Because the meat is taken off the bones, try to find large, meaty lamb shanks. To complete the menu, just add a green salad. Gremolata, a mixture of parsley, lemon, and garlic, is the traditional garnish for osso buco (an Italian dish). Here we've added fennel fronds because fennel is used in the dish.

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4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces lamb, 1 cup bean mixture, and 1 tablespoon gremolata)

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Nutritional Information

Calories 562
Caloriesfromfat 23 %
Fat 14.5 g
Satfat 4.5 g
Monofat 6.3 g
Polyfat 1.6 g
Protein 67.7 g
Carbohydrate 39.2 g
Fiber 5.7 g
Cholesterol 172 mg
Iron 10.1 mg
Sodium 742 mg
Calcium 164 mg


Fennel gremolata:
2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup dried navy beans or other small white beans
2 (1 1/2-pound) lamb shanks
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fennel bulb
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fonds
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 1/4 pound)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


To prepare the fennel gremolata, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

To prepare beans, sort and wash dried beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans.

Trim fat from lamb. Combine rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub surface of lamb with rosemary mixture. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb; cook 10 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add fennel bulb, carrot, fennel seeds, garlic, and leeks; cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently to deglaze pan. Stir in broth and wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return lamb to pan; add beans, 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, thyme, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lamb is tender; discard thyme. Remove the lamb from pan; cover and keep warm.

Simmer the bean mixture, uncovered, 10 minutes. Sprinkle bean mixture with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Remove lamb from bones. Divide the lamb among 4 shallow bowls, and serve with bean mixture and fennel gremolata.


November 1999
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