You’re at home alone, watching Downton Abbey, and realize that you still need to feed yourself. If you are really lazy you could order food OR you could make an insanely awesome meal that all of your friends and family will be so jealous of that they will never abandon you ever again. I choose option two.
Lamb shanks are typically reserved for fancy restaurant menus and big family dinners but there is no reason that you can’t braise one on a weeknight. Here are a few reasons why:
- I am a 20 year old college student who also works and I did it, you have no excuse.
- It’s yummy.
- Once its in the oven you leave it alone for a few hours and can: go to the gym, do homework, clean, bathe, watch more Downton Abbey.
When I made this I went all out and whipped up some fresh gnudi as well (recipe will be up soon!). Gnudi is a cousin of Gnocchi that has a ricotta base and while it is easy and scrumptious, it is more difficult than the polenta that is traditionally served this with dish. Save the extra sauce to eat with pasta or left over polenta the next day.
Also, to feed more than one, simply scale up the recipe. Braising is not an exact science so throw ingredients into a baking dish in the appropriate proportions until the meat is 3/4 of the way covered.
Braised Lamb Shank (serves 1)
- Lamb Shank (1)
- 1 small can of whole peeled tomatoes
- pinch oregano
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 large sprig thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil + more for sauce
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Pat lamb shank dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil on high in an oven safe pan (I recommend cast iron). Once hot, brown the shank in the pan until all sides are seared. Remove shank and set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium and pour tomatoes into pan. Add herbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. Stir to combine.
- Place lamb shank in pan and turn to coat.
- Cover with tin foil and place in oven.
- After 1 hour turn oven down to 325F and continue to cook until the meat is falling off of the bone (about 1-1.5 more hours).
- Remove shank from sauce and set aside.
- Pour sauce into food processor and puree, streaming olive oil in, until it reaches desired consistency.
- Serve lamb shank with gnudi, polenta, or potatoes with the sauce poured over the top.