Lamb Shanks

Try as we might we have never been able to cook a really good leg of lamb. Our next door neighbor in Northborough MA could make an amazing leg of lamb and did so every Easter. Every time we try it it turns out just bad. Maybe Allison just raised the bar so high we can’t reach it.

But, I can make a pretty mean Lamb Shank. I had Lamb Shank at some restaurant somewhere – don’t remember where – but it was so good I had to come home and try to make them. At the time Lamb Shanks were pretty inexpensive, but now they have become sexy and trendy and consequently not so inexpensive any more.

This would make a really good entree for Easter dinner or Passover dinner, but Passover is today and this really should be cooked a day ahead and chilled to allow the fat to rise and be skimmed off.

Yes this uses anchovies. Do not leave them out. In fact I suggest you use these anchovies, which are more expensive but worth it, they are the best! Buying in the jar lets you use only what you need. They keep for months in the refrigerator, just take them out for a few minutes before using to let the oil liquefy.

“Agostino Recca” Fillets of Anchovies 8.1 oz

I would serve this with Carrots Vichy (a recipe from Pierre Franey that I have blatantly stolen) and Laura’s secret mashed potatoes (the recipe for which she will never share.)

Author: Jim Kirkley

Serves: 4

Lamb Shanks


4 pounds, lamb shank
2 medium, onions – finely chopped
3 cloves, garlic – crushed with salt
1/2 cup, dry red wine
3 cups, chicken broth – (roughly two 14 ounce cans)
1 can, whole tomatoes – cut up with liquid
5 anchovies
3 tablespoons, fresh parsley – chopped
1 tablespoon, fresh thyme – chopped
1 tablespoon, kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon, black peppercorns
1 teaspoon, tabasco sauce
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup, flour
2 tablespoons, butter


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a heavy oven-proof dutch oven, brown shanks on all sides. Be sure to brown them well, the browned flavor adds significantly to the flavor of the dish. Remove shanks and set aside on a plate.
  3. Pour off all but a small amount of accumulated grease and add the onion and garlic. Saute for a minute or two, then add wine. Deglaze by bringing to a boil while scraping the pan for browned bits.
  4. Add the shanks, any accumulated juices, and all remaining ingredients except flour and butter to the dutch oven. Place in oven and cook for at least two hours, preferably more. Allow to cool then place in the refrigerator over night. (This step is not absolutely necessary, but is the best way to degrease the dish.)
  5. Before serving, remove from the refrigerator. Spoon off accumulated grease. Remove shanks and discard bay leaves. Pass liquid through a food mill or buzz with a stick blender. Return the shanks to the liquid and bring to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare a roux with the flour and butter by melting the butter and adding the flour in a small sauce pan. Cook the flour until it turns slightly brown. Add some of the roux, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the desired level of thickness. Add additional salt to taste.
  7. Serve each person a lamb shank. Alternatively, the meat can be removed from the bone prior to returning it to the strained liquid making more of a lamb stew.
Author: Jim Kirkley

Easy and delicious

Serves: 4


Carrots Vichy


8 carrots – peeled
2 tablespoons, butter
2 teaspoons, sugar
1/2 teaspoon, salt
pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon, parsley – chopped


  1. Slice carrots into thin 1/8 inch disks.
  2. Place carrots in large non-stick frying pan. Barely cover with water. Add butter, sugar and salt. Pepper comes later.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Let water boil completely away. The carrots will start to saute in the butter and the sugar will caramelize and coat them. Saute the carrots until they start to get brown. Sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately. Garnish with parsley.

The sweetness of the carrots really complements savory foods and this is simplicity itself to make. Great with rice pilaf and pork or chicken.

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