Dinner Diaries: Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

This is actually the second time I've made this dish this Fall, and I'm absolutely smitten. The lamb shanks get so tender that it's nearly impossible to plate them properly as the meat just falls right off the bone.

It's such an easy dish to make, too. And apart from the salt and olive oil, there are only five ingredients: onions, mushrooms, lamb shanks, rosemary, and a bottle of red wine.

When you cook with wine, you're technically supposed to use a good bottle. Something that you would actually drink in a glass along with the dish, and NEVER those horrible "cooking wines" that they sell next to the olive oil and vinegar in the supermarket. But I confess that I used a pretty awful bottle of wine for this. Not cooking wine bad, but still pretty bad. I used a bottle of $5 "Chateau Diana" Cabernet Sauvignon Wine...Product.

Yes, my friends, "wine product."

My friend Moe bought this at Rite-Aid for me the other day as a bad joke. This stuff is so gross. It's a horrifying blend of cheap wine mixed with water, juice, and sugar.

Basically, it's what hobos drink.

It's literally WORSE than Boone's Farm, because while Boone's Farm proudly declares that it's just alcoholic fruit punch made especially for sorority girls, "Chateau Diana" masquerades as real wine. It's got a fancy bottle and a fancy label and a sort-of-fancy name all meant to hide its damaged, trailer park roots. I'm 100% certain that it doesn't even speak French. It's the Holly Golightly of wine.

Amazingly, the lamb still came out heavenly. I probably didn't even have to admit that I used that crap, but I do recommend using a decent bottle when you make it.

*****
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Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks
Serves 2, multiply as necessary.

Print this Recipe
Ingredients
Extra virgin olive oil
2 lamb foreshanks, about 1 pound eachKosher salt
1 yellow onion, diced

8oz mushrooms, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bottle red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 cup water

Directions
Heat a large, heavy bottom pot (such as a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Sprinkle salt generously all over the lamb shanks and then brown in the hot oil on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Once completely browned, remove from pot and set on a plate to rest.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the diced onion to the hot oil and saute for 2-3 minutes, just until slightly translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to saute for 2-3 more minutes. Add the lamb shanks back into the pot. Toss in the sprigs of rosemary. Pour in the entire bottle of red wine. Add one cup water.

Cover the pot with the lid and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Let braise for 2-3 hours, or until the lamb shanks are completely tender and falling off the bone. Remove the lid and gently transfer the lamb shanks to a serving dish to rest. With the lid still off, raise the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Serve lamb topped off with mushrooms and reduced sauce. 
Ideas for sides: sauteed kale, mashed potatoes, sweet potato puree, steamed vegetables

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