Take-a-Hike Lamb Shanks
with mint and garlic gremolata
(one 6" lamb shank per person)
The long and slow oven-braising used in this recipe makes it ideal for a Sunday supper
when you don't plan to be home to cook and can set your oven on a timer to start while
you're away. We assembled the lamb shanks in a ceramic braising dish at 9:30 AM, set the
oven to start at 3:30 PM, went out for an all-day hike and came home at to a kitchen
filled with wonderful aromas and a dinner awaiting our arrival. The meaty lamb shank
morsels seemed particularly welcomed after a day of sun and wind, hiking along the Point
- Wash and dry the lamb shanks. Brown them in a cast iron skillet coated with a little
olive oil. Turn frequently so all sides brown evenly.
- While the shanks are browning, peel 6-8 whole garlic cloves and toss them into the same
skillet until they are nutty brown.
- Slice one large yellow onion into 1/4" -1/2" thick rounds, keeping the rounds
- Wash a small bunch of fresh thyme, marjoram or summer savory.
- Select a deep ceramic braising dish (with a tight fitting lid) just large enough to hold
all the lamb shanks in one layer without overlapping.
- Line the bottom of the dish with the sliced onions in one layer and the fresh herbs on
top of the onions.
- Arrange the browned lamb shanks on top of the onion-herb layer,
season with salt and pepper and cover the braising dish with its tight fitting lid.
- Place in the oven on the middle rack and set your oven on Time Bake at 300°. If you
plan to sit down for dinner at 7:30 PM, set the timer to start the oven at 3:30 PM.
(Braising should take about 4 hours.)
- Prepare any assortment of roasted vegetables (potatoes, summer
squash, zucchini, carrots, etc.) by roasting them in a flat ceramic casserole dish in a
450° oven until tender.
- In a mini-chopper, finely chop 3-4 cloves peeled garlic with 6-8 leaves of fresh mint.
(Vary the proportions to your taste. We like ours garlicky!)
- Place the braised lamb shanks on one side of your warmed bouillabaisse bowls and arrange
the roasted vegetables around the shanks. Sprinkle the shanks with the mint-garlic
gremolata and enjoy an effortless Sunday Supper!
- Onion-Herb Layer: These vegetables at the
bottom of the braising dish imbue the shanks with aroma, provide a little moisture during
cooking and also serve as a fat-catching rack. You'll find that lamb shanks contain quite
a bit of fat that melts away through slow braising. The onion-herb layer, which are
discarded after cooking, absorbs this fat and keeps the shanks suspended above it.
- Roasting: Before roasting, coat the vegetables
with olive oil and sea salt. Roasting time will vary depending on the types of vegetables
you select. Allot about 15-20 minutes for most small vegetables and 20-30 minutes for