My husband thought he didn't like lamb. Now he's changed his mind ;).
I took a short cut, soaked the beans overnight, grilled the shanks to give it a nice smoky flavor and render whatever fat. Added all ingredients to crockpot and cooked on high for 4 hours, then low to keep warm for the next 2 hours. Made crispy bacon in the microwave, discard grease and crumbled over each serving. The whole family loved it.
I made this in my slow cooker, so I did things somewhat differently. I browned the meat in a skillet, transferred it to the slow cooker, and then sauteed the veggies (including garlic) in 2 tsp. of bacon fat in the same skillet. Used the red wine to deglaze the pan and then transferred the whole thing to the slow cooker, where I added 1 c. beef broth and everything else (except rosemary; I soaked the beans overnight before adding). I cooked it for about 10 hours on low. With one hour to go, I added the rosemary, and topped the results with the bacon bits. It turned out much more like a ragout or cassoulet, since the meat separated from the bones and shredded thanks to the long cooking time. The slow cooker, however, made this possible for a weeknight dinner instead of a special weekend feast. Served with a green salad and multi-grain bread. Earned raves from all my company!
This recipe really is a gem, and each serving is a lot of food. It's easy, it's attractive, and it's company quality. I followed the recipe exactly except for using 2 cans of cannellini beans instead of dried, and we couldn't tell the difference. Unlike many other CL recipes, this one has very few steps and few ingredients which makes it even more appealling. We're lamb lovers, bean lovers, and we wouldn't change a thing. Plate presentation is beautiful...try sprinkling parsley around the plate, it really dresses it up for company. We'll definitely do this one again, and we'll do it often!!