Thursday, March 26, 2015

Braised lamb shanks with mustard and mint

There is an aphorism that a good workman never blames his tools. On the other hand, good tools make any job easier.  Cooking shows often tout the utility and results of a heavy enameled cast iron dutch oven. French versions can and do cost hundreds of dollars.  Lodge makes one that is much less.  I found a "used" one at the Amazon warehouse for about $44.  There are lots of sizes, but this was 4.5 quarts.  That is a good size  for two or four  people.  Seven quarts of beans is too much, even for me.

I picked lamb shanks for the first try.  I started with one pound shanks.  Two just fit into the bottom for browning.


  •  Brown the shanks, remove to a plate.
  • Add a mirepoix (one onion, one celery stalk, one carrot).  Cook until  the veggies are soft.
  • Return shanks to pan,  nestled into the mirepoix
  • Add a braising liquid of about 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup water, and 1 heaping tablespoon of mustard.
  • Top shanks with sprouts of fresh mint (now appearing in the garden).
  • Cover pot and place in a 285 degree oven for 3 hours.

  • Add sweet potato quarters and additional water if necessary.  (Do not let the pot go dry)
  • Cook an additional 45 to 60 minutes.

To make a sauce/gravy remove shanks to a plate and cover to keep warm. Drain braising liquid in to a container.

 Let fat rise to the top (adding an ice cube will speed up the process). Drain fat and use an immersion blender to puree vegetables and broth.

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