Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
Nothing is as delicious in the fall and winter than slow cooked food. People often misinterpret a slow cooked recipe (such as lamb or short ribs) as complicated and labor intensive. It is exactly the opposite. In all honestly, it’s the least amount of effort for the greatest reward. That is why I love this recipe so much.
SLOW COOKING TIPS
The key to slow cooking meats is using a Dutch Oven. You may recognized this pot through popular brands such as Le Creuset and Staub. It is a cast iron pot with an enamel coating (fused glass). The benefits of cooking in a dutch oven include:
- The ability to go from stove top to oven
- Excellent even heating and heat retention properties
- No chemical interaction with your food (unlike Teflon, non-stick and many metal cookware that can leach toxins and metals into your food)
- Extremely resistant to wear and tear
- A pot that will last a lifetime and can be past down to the next generation
A popular brand of among health supportive chef’s is the brand Xtrema, which is 100% ceramic. There Dutch Oven’s and other cookware is all natural, non-toxic, inorganic and nonreactive. From the ceramic glaze to the core, it contains no metal, cadmium, lead, PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, coasting or dyes. But most importantly, Xtrema cookware will never leach chemicals or change the taste of your food. Something to think about.
If you are a fan of bone broth and like making it at home then this is the type of pot you want to be using. Avoid cooking any food or liquid over a long period of time in a metal pot.
I like to use slow cooked meats and stews as an opportunity to eat a variety of root vegetables. True root vegetables better support our overall energy then other so-called root vegetables. These vegetables strengthen our root organs, such as the kidneys, intestines and reproductive organs.
I’m talking about real root vegetables that we often dismiss. They include:
- Parsley root
For this recipe, feel free to substitute the rutabaga and beets for any of the root vegetables above. Depending on the size of your Dutch Oven, you can fit anywhere from 2 or 4 cups of diced vegetables in the pot.
4 lamb shanks
2 T salt and course black pepper
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, large diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 rutabaga, large diced
2 golden beets, quartered
2 cups full-bodied red wine
1 cup bone broth
1 stem fresh rosemary
1 bunch of fresh thyme (about 5-6 stems)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
- Preheat an oven to 350ºF.
- Season the lamb shanks generously with salt and pepper. In a large, deep Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches if needed, brown the shanks on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a platter.
- Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the wine and return the pan to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the broth, rosemary, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and shanks and bring to a boil. Add the remaining root vegetables. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is almost falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Using tongs, transfer the shanks to your plates.
- Remove the bay leaf from the cooking liquid. Pour some of the sauce over the shanks. Serve with cooked root vegetables and wilted greens.
Note, this recipe does not include tomatoes or tomato paste like many slow cooking recipes. The goal in cooking this dish is to make it health supportive, lectin free and anti-inflammatory. You’ll taste and feel the difference by not using tomatoes.
If you’re a lamb fan like me, leave a comment below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Whitney Aronoff is a Natural Foods Chef based in Laguna Beach, California. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Communications, and went on to culinary school at The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. She works as a personal chef and teaches cooking classes, with a focus on healthy, whole foods cooking. You can follow her food and wellness adventures on Instagram at @WhitneyAronoff @StarSeedKitchen and on her website www.WhitneyAronoff.com.