Red Wine and Juniper braised lamb shanks

Lamb Shanks Braised In Red Wine And Juniper

Slowly braised lamb shanks, particularly as in this recipe, are among my favorite cool weather foods. This recipe has incredible depth of flavour. A key ingredient are the dried juniper berries.
These may be hard to find but worth the effort. I used to collect juniper berries at the same time I was collecting blue berries on many a canoeing trip in the Kawartha’s of Ontario (Google it).
I would occasionally also buy them at a Pharmacy in Switzerland where they are commonly sold for medicinal purposes or in one of the super markets as of course they are also used in many wild game recipes.

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Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C (325 °F)
  • 2. Liberally season the shanks with salt and pepper
  • 3. In a large, heavy bottom roasting or frying pan, heat oil on medium high and brown the shanks on all sides.
  • 4. Put aside the shanks on a plate in a warming drawer
  • 5. Transfer oil and juices from pan to a large dutch oven, adding more oil if needed
  • 6. Add onions and cook until translucent
  • 7. Add carrots and celery and cook for a couple more minutes
  • 8. Add wine, bay leaves, juniper berries, pepper corns, rosemary, garlic and salt
  • 9. Place the shanks into this braising mixture, cover and cook in the pre-heated oven for 3 hours
  • 10. When cooked, gently remove shanks to a platter, tent with aluminum foil and keep warm in a warming drawer
  • 11. Strain the braising liquid into a sauce pan
  • 12. Bring to a boil and add the port
  • 13. Reduce to 250 ml (1 cup)
  • 14. Serve along side, pour over shanks or use as garlic mashed potato gravy

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