Lamb Shanks with White Beans-A Dish to Comfort

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lamb shank with white beans

Lamb Shanks with White Beans

Serves 2-8 if you don’t concentrate on the meat only

Newtown really got me down.  I needed some comfort; so I turned to this recipe.  First of all, it took me awhile to make but yet didn’t take too much concentration so that I could think and meditate about what a tragedy and horror had just happened.  Second of all, once made, it soothed me and helped me heal a bit.  We need recipes like this every now and then—and sadly enough, more often lately than not.  I hope that maybe you may take some solace in this recipe as well——

Ingredients for the White Beans:

  1. 1 Lb. dried white beans (I used the little ones but the larger variety are fine as well)
  2. 4 Cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  3. 1 C. Cored and chopped tomatoes—(canned and drained are fine)
  4. 1 Bay leaf

Herbs to be used for both the beans and the shanks: 

  1. 1 Tblsp. fresh sage leaves or 1 Tsp. dried sage and some left over for extra seasonings
  2. 1 Tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 Tsp. dried thyme
  3. A dab more thyme leaves for browning the veggies.

Ingredients for the Lamb Shanks:

  1. 4 Lamb shanks—3/4 to 1 Lb. each (mine in the picture was almost 2 lbs. WOW—what a lamb!)
  2. 1/3 – 1/2 C. olive oil
  3. Flour for dredging
  4. 1 Medium onion rough cut
  5. 3 Stalks of celery rough cut
  6. 2 peeled  carrots rough cut
  7. 1 clove garlic rough cut
  8. S&P to taste
  9. 1 Bay leaf
  10. 3/4  C. red wine
  11. 3/4  C. beef stock
  12. Minced fresh parsley or sage leaves or thyme sprigs for garnish

Instructions:

Cooking the Beans

  1. Quick boil or soak the beans overnight (according to package directions).
  2. Place the beans in a deep pot and cover the beans with water.
  3. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil; skim the foam if necessary.
  4. Turn the heat down so that the beans simmer and add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, and 1/3 of the herbs mentioned in this recipe.
  5.  Cook 1-1/2 to 2 hours —till they are tender.

Cooking the Shanks:

  1. Blender or Osterize chop the celery, carrots, garlic, onion into a small chop.  I do leave aside a couple of carrots and celery large cut just for the look of the dish-but doesn’t feel obliged to do this.
  2. Mix the remainder of the seasonings in enough flour to dredge the shanks a bit and rub it on the shanks.
  3. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and brown the shanks on all sides. (About 8-10 minutes). If you have a lot of shanks, you may have to do this in more than one session.  When browned, set aside on a separate plate.
  4. In the remaining oil (if you need more, pour a bit in), add and stir the veggies with a dab more of thyme over medium heat until they are glistening. (about 7 minutes)
  5. Put the shanks back in the pot on top of the veggies, add the wine and beef bouillon and a bay leaf; simmer covered on very low heat for 3 to 3 ½ hours or till when you insert a toothpick in the fleshy part of the shank, it’ll go in and come out easy (that almost sounds “risqué” doesn’t it.  Oh dear.
  6. Keep an eye on the shanks just to make sure they don’t need more wine or bouillon.

lamb shank with white beans

The Finished Product:

  1. At this point, I like to have a lovely country styled platter to take my beans out with a slotted spoon and some or all of its liquid as well and top it with my lamb shanks, veggies, sauce and all. I then garnish it with the parsley, sage, or thyme.
  2. There are 2 more ways  of finishing this dish so here it is:

Way One

  1. Don’t cook the beans till they are too soft because you are going to place them in an oven proof dish.
  2.  Pour the shank’s sauce among the beans and some or most of the bean’s liquid (depending how much is left), a bit more dried or fresh sage; then nestle the shanks in. Put the dish uncovered in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes.  Then garnish and serve.

Way Two

  1. Cook the lamb as directed; then take it all off the bone and shred it.
  2. Stir it back in the beans and top it with bread crumbs.
  3. Broil it carefully in the oven till the crumbs are light brown.
  4. Voila Cassoulet?

 

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About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID. margot6@mindspring.com TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com

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