Merlot Braised Lamb Shanks
with Orange Zest
4 large lamb shanks
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cup Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
3 cups beef or chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
zest of 1 orange
2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Rub shanks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven over high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom, and place the lamb in the pan. Sear all sides until well browned; transfer meat to a plate.
Add onion, carrots and celery to pan; sauté until just beginning to brown. Add garlic and continue to cook until vegetables soften. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and return lamb shanks to the pan. This will cool the liquid slightly, so bring back to a boil. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid or foil and place in oven. Cook 1 ½-2 hours, until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
Transfer shanks to a serving platter and set aside. Return pot to stove over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, skimming off excess fat and oil. Cook until liquid reduces and thickens to desired consistency. Season to taste with balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.
Mix the chopped herbs and orange zest together in a small bowl. Ladle sauce over the shanks and sprinkle with the herb/orange mixture. Serve hot.