This is an excellent example of the way braising benefits tough cuts—lamb shanks are slowly simmered in a flavorful liquid until the meat starts to fall off the bones. Mashed beans thicken the sauce, while lemon juice brightens it.
4 (12-ounce) lamb shanks, trimmed
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cups (1-inch) cubed carrot
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon dried sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of lamb to pan, and cook 9 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove lamb from pan. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining lamb.
Add onion and carrot to pan; cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add rind and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); cook 5 minutes. Add lamb and broth; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until lamb is very tender.
Remove lamb and vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside an 8-cup glass measure or bowl. Pour broth mixture into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag, and carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into pan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.
Combine juice and 1 cup beans in a small bowl; mash with a fork until pastelike. Add juice mixture and remaining beans to pan; stir well to combine. Add lamb mixture; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
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