Braised Lamb Shanks with White Beans

March 2, 2007

Braised Lamb Shanks with White Beans

Lorraine Glazar, TCSA

4 lamb shanks
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium leeks, chopped
1 medium bulb fennel, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 cup broth
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
8 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 ½ teaspoon dried

For the beans:

8 to 12 ounces dried beans
1 medium onion
6 cups water
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme

The night before, soak beans in 2 quarts water.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat shanks dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe Dutch oven. Add shanks and sauté until browned on all sides. Pour off any fat, then put vinegar into pan and deglaze it. Put shanks and vinegar aside.

Heat remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped fresh vegetables and garlic and stir to coat with oil. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan and cook vegetables until they are softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved vinegar, broth, tomatoes and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shanks to pan and submerge in vegetable mixture. Bake 2 to 3 hours.

Make white beans by combining the drained soaked beans with the onion, 6 cups water, and seasoning. Simmer one to one and a half hours.

Remove shanks and keep warm. Stir beans into vegetable mixture, and bake, covered, for ten minutes. Spoon beans and vegetables onto a platter and top with shanks.

Vegetarian version: Omit shanks and bake vegetable mixture for 30 to 45 minutes before adding beans.

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