Lamb Shanks with
In Italian, osso bucco means veal shank. For me, the real
beauty is the style in which it is made: searing and braising
which will suit any shank --lamb, beef, ham hock, turkey --until
it's so tender, you can pull it right off the bone. Margaret
River produces excellent fat lambs, so for our inaugural recipe,
why look any further for an ingredient to complement our red
wines. My recommendation for this dish is Boomerang Corner
4 lamb shanks
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound mixed fresh mushrooms roughly chopped.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups dry red wine
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups of chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned, depending on
1/2 pound dried orecchiette
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Fahrenheit Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large,
deep, ovenproof pot over medium heat until hot. Season the
shanks with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about
5-10 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Raise the heat to medium-high,
add the mushrooms, and do not move them until they begin to
brown, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and sauté?until
brown all over, about 5 minutes. Remove to another plate and
Reduce the heat to medium,
add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the pot, and
heat until hot. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, season
with salt and pepper, and sauté?until light brown,
about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
Add the wine and bay leaf,
bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced by
half. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil again.
Season with salt and pepper. Return the meat to the pot, cover,
and place in the oven to braise until fork tender. Test at
2 hours, but the shanks may take as long as 4 hours.
Let the meat cool in the liquid
to room temperature. Remove from the braising liquid and reserve
separately. Skim off and discard the fat from the braising
liquids. (The recipe may be made to this point a day ahead,
covered, and refrigerated.)
Bring a large pot of water
to a boil. Add salt and the pasta and cook until al dente.
*See notes about the pasta at the end of recipe. Usually around
10-12 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, pour the defatted braising
liquids into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the basil
Return the shanks to the sauce
and simmer gently just until heated through, then remove and
keep warm. Add the mushrooms and pasta to the sauce and heat
gently until warm through. Pour onto a large, deep platter
or divide among serving bowls and top with the shanks. Serve
It is acceptable and even preferable
to do this dish a day ahead. It is much easier to defat the
braising liquid after it has been refrigerated. You can also
cook the whole dish in a covered pot on the stovetop. There
is a caramelisation of flavors in oven braising that stovetop
cooking does not replicate. If the shanks are cracked --cut
through the bone at the top (ankle) --they will cook through
to tenderness more rapidly, closer to 2 hours than 4 hours.
This also allows the meat to "shrink" up the bone
avoiding stretching and accordingly becoming a little tough.
Do not serve cheese with this
pasta. The subtle gaminess of the cheese emphasizes the gaminess
of the lamb.
*This tip to cook perfect 'al
dente' pasta was given to me by an Italian friend living here
in Hong Kong.
Use dried pasta not fresh.
You will see why. Stop cooking when three quarters finished.
You should feel a little "bite" still uncooked.
Drain immediately and, as soon as possible, add the pasta
to whatever sauce you have prepared to finish cooking. It
helps if the sauce is hot. The secret is that, because the
pasta hasn;t fully completed cooking, it will "drag"
moisture and accordingly the flavours from the sauce it has
been added to. It is thus possible, given a strongly concentrated
stock, to fully flavour the pasta itself without any more
accompaniment than, maybe, a good cheese.