Braised Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Polenta and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts


Braised Lamb Shanks fall off the bone tender. I made this over the weekend and I did two types of platings to show off the beauty of this meal.


  • 4 Lamb Shanks (approx. 0.75 to 1.00 lb each)
  • Mirepoix
    • Large White Onion (chopped)
    • 4 Carrots (oblique cut)
    • 2 Celery Stalks (split and diced)
    • 5 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
  • Flour (to dredge shanks)
  • Salt, Pepper, Paprika (to taste)
  • Bottle of Red Wine (just because)
  • Olive Oil (or safflower oil)
  • Dutch Oven

Preheat your oven to 325F. Dredge Shanks in flour (salt, pepper, paprika added) and shake off excess. Brown shanks in dutch oven on medium high heat in olive oil on all sides (about 3-4 minutes each side). You want to achieve GBD (golden brown delicious). Remove each piece and set aside. Drain half the oil out. Add Mirepoix to dutch oven and brown for 5 to 7 minutes on medium high heat. Add the wine to the mix and deglaze the dutch oven and bring wine to a boil for 4 minutes to reduce out the alcohol. Put the shanks back in the mix and add water so that 3/4 of the shanks are covered. Put lid on dutch oven and put in pre-heated oven for 1-3/4 hours. You MUST turn the shanks at 1 hour to get an even cook. Use a fork to test tenderness and if the meat is very tender (almost fall off the bone) remove from the oven and let the shanks rest on a plate. Cover with tin foil. Continue with sauce below.


Strain the liquid of the sauce into a sauce pan trying not to get any solids from the mirepoix. Use a strainer with cheese cloth for this task. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by half. While boiling, make a roux (2 tablespoons butter, equal part flour). For those that have never made a roux, the flour and butter must weigh the same, not by volume. Basically 3 oz of butter to 3 oz of flour using a scale. Make a brown roux and add to the sauce 1/4 at a time until the sauce is creamy. Do not make it too thick. Once done it can be used immediately or kept warm.


Polenta is extremely easy to make. You can get a polenta mix and all you need to do is add butter and parmesan. Boil 4 cups of water and slowly add the cornmeal while stirring. Once all the cornmeal is in the water, keep stirring every minute for about 25 minutes until the water is all evaporated into the cornmeal. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in. Add 3/4 cup of parmesan (more if you want it really cheesy) and stir until all combined. Serve.


Take 1 lb of fresh brussels sprouts, wash and let dry. Cut each stem end off and slice each in half. Cut 8 oz of pancetta into small dice and heat over high heat until cooked and remove from pan. Drain 1/2 the fat. Put brussels sprouts in pan as one layer and sauté until nice and brown on each side. Combine brussels sprouts and pancetta.


Plating the dish can be accommodated in a bowl or on a plate. Have fun, garnish with baby greens, crispy onions and enjoy!!!


Wine pairing for this meal would be a nice Cabernet or Merlot. One of our wineries, Ancient Peaks in Paso Robles makes great wines and their Cabernet and Merlot are top sellers in that category at Pairings. You could also use a nice Super Tuscan from Italy, we carry a VALDISANTI from Tuscany, Italy. French wines would include a red such as our Bordeaux CHATEAU LA RAME or a Cotes du Rhone GUICHARDE.


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