Yield
6 servings (serving size: 1 lamb shank, 2/3 cup polenta, and about 1/2 cup sauce)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 300°.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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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Ratings & Reviews

Outstanding and a Favorite

ChristineDC
May 22, 2016
 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.

sedutta's Review

Chandraceta
January 02, 2013
N/A

ChristineDC's Review

yummymummy3
February 28, 2010
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.

cpalma's Review

SandraSoCal
February 23, 2009
This is recipe is restaurant quality. We were very impressed and would definitely use it when having guests. It is very hearty and a good winter meal. I followed recipe exactly as written.

yummymummy3's Review

cpalma
January 26, 2009
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+++++

Chandraceta's Review

sedutta
January 08, 2009
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.