Lamb Shanks with Lemon
|Prep time||3 hours|
Rich and unctuous lamb with a little lemony kick--but not as much as you might think!
|4||lamb shanks (or 2 lbs lamb stew meat or combo)|
|1||whole lemon (sliced thin including peel)|
|1||large onion (chopped)|
|4||clv||garlic (crushed and roughly diced)|
|2||c||chicken stock or broth|
|2||T||fat (olive oil, butter, chicken fat)|
|2||t||herbes de provence|
|salt and pepper (to taste)|
Preheat the oven to 300F.
This dish depends on the lamb; make sure it's lamb, not mutton. Most supermarket lamb is actually mutton. If you can find a shepherd, try to buy lamb direct. Big, big difference.
In a big dutch oven or casserole, brown the lamb in the fat over medium-high heat; sprinkle with salt. Add the onions. When the onions start to soften and brown, take the pot off the heat. Add the garlic. Lay the slices of lemon evenly across the lamb, trying your best to get the seeds out. Pour the chicken stock over the top; failing stock, use wine or water, but good, gelatin-y, homemade chicken stock is the ideal. Sprinkle with the herbes de provence, crushing it between your fingers, and add pepper to taste.
Put in the oven and forget about it for at least two hours. Longer than three, you might want to turn the oven down to 275.
OK, don't forget about it entirely--check now and again to make sure it's still wet. Doesn't need to be swimming, but you don't want it to burn. If you don't have any more stock, use water or wine. The liquid at this stage isn't as crucial.
Serve when you can't stand to leave it in the oven any more because it smells so good. Or, when the meat is falling off the bone and the lemon slices have nearly dissolved. Up to you.
An improvised dish when I found myself with lamb shanks and no clear idea what to do. I know what to do now--my family licked the dutch oven clean, down to the last scrap.
I can't eat rice, but this might be very good spooned over some.