A.O.K "trial" Gourmet (11) Crockpot Braised Lamb Shanks (overdone!)

***For an introduction to A.O.K "trial" Gourmet - click here***

I have never had so much lamb in my life! I don't think I ever ate it growing up and before filling our freezer with the meat from an entire lamb last fall - I think I can count the number of times we prepared lamb meat (usually lamb chops on the BBQ) on one hand.

All of that has changed. I've now tried several lamb recipes (some of which have been photographed and added to my "trial" gourmet series). steaks (or "slices") stews, roasts, kabobs, shepherd's pie, kefta, lamburgers(!)...

Last week it was time to try some shanks. I knew I was would be out for most of the day so I wanted to find a recipe for my slow cooker.... and I found just what I was looking for on the coup de pouce website. I don't know about you, but when I look for recipes I'm almost always looking for 2 things. 1) Do I have the ingredients on hand? and 2) Does it have simple instructions? For this particular recipe I had to substitute ground cumin for the fennel seeds that I didn't have (thanks to a quick Internet search!) --- otherwise the recipe met my search "criteria".

The result was great. It was super easy to make --- A very hearty (perfect for cold winter days) meal. And I'm sure you could easily substitute with a different the meat and it would be just as good!

So... before you start, here's a list of what you'll need. It takes a little under 30-minutes to get the meal put together and in the crock pot. Then the recipe calls for 8 hours + of cooking on low setting.
Just so you know - mine cooked for just under 7 hours and the meat was falling off the bones. I somehow doubt that a coup de pouce recipe (that's been tried in a test kitchen) could be so far off in the cooking time and so I have come to the conclusion that I have a faulty crock pot with a skewed "low" setting.
So... here's the list of ingredients for "Braised Lamb Shanks"(Jarrets d'agneau braisés)
6 lamb shanks (about 4 lbs total)*
(*I only used 2 lamb shanks - big ones!)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds*
(*I substituted with 2 teaspoons of ground cumin)
1 onion (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
2 celery stalks (diced)
6 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup red wine
1 can of diced tomatoes (28 oz or 796 ml)
1/4 cup of tomato paste
1/4 cup of flour
3 tablespoons butter (softened)
To prepare your lamb (and other ingredients) for you slow cooker:

1. Prepare vegetables. Dice the onion, carrot and celery. Chop the garlic. Set aside.
2. Pepper the lamb shanks. In a large pot or pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb on all sides (until golden) and place in the slow cooker.

3. Remove some of the grease from the pot and add the rest of the oil (about 1 tablespoon). Add fennel seeds and cook over medium heat about 10 seconds (until they start to pop) I used cumin so I skipped to the next step and added my spice just before putting everything in the slow cooker.

4. Cook onion, carrots, celery, garlic (salt & cumin), stir frequently, for about 5 minutes (or until the onion is tender).

5. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker.

6. Add the wine, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.

7. Cover and let cook up to 8 hours or until the lamb is coming off the bone.

8. Skim the fat off the surface of the mixture. In a small bowl mix together the butter and flour. Add to the mixture and increase to high heat for about 10 minutes (or until sauce thickens).

9. Serve with your choice of side dish. I made plain old white rice.

... and enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Andrea..for me lamb is the best meat there is! the shank are now recognize as the filet mignon de l'agneau!!and the prize zoom up unfortunately! I never understood the big fla-fla about veal used to make osso bucco.to me it is tasteless..at the J.Rousseau school they now sell the pork osso bucco much cheaper& tastier! ps the lamb liver is the only one I eat. We can now find it in Longueuil. In Rimouski when I organized Lamb michoui I would request the liver...it does not have the...livery taste of beef or pork!

A. said...

I'm glad to hear that you like the pork osso bucco. Ì saw a recipe this week that I'm going to try... and it looks tasty!!!

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