Spiced Lamb Shanks

4-6 lamb shanks about 1 lb. each
salt to taste
pepper freshly ground to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 C beef stock or water
1 C dry red wine
2 tbsp. honey

6-8 cloves garlic lightly crushed
2 cinnamon sticks
4-6 fresh sage leaves
1 C seeded, chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1-1/2 C pitted prunes
1/4 C chopped fresh mint leaves

Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over moderate heat and brown the shanks, 2 to 3 at a time, on all sides. Set the shanks aside and add the onion to the pot, cooking until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Return the shanks to the pot and add the beef stock, red wine, honey, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and sage. Cover tightly and bake in a preheated 325F oven for 2 to 3 hours, until the meat is tender. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and prunes and cook uncovered 45 minutes longer. Stir in the mint immediately before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

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