Braised Lamb Shanks With Roasted Garlic and White Beans

In this slow-cooked lamb and bean dish, all the flavors blend beautifully.

Braised Lamb Shanks With Roasted Garlic and White Beans
Ingredients You Will Need:

1 cup dried cannellini, great Northern or navy beans
1 large head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 lamb shanks, trimmed of fat and membrane (1 pound)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup defatted beef stock
1 can plum tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Sort beans, discarding any debris. Rinse, and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water, and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove as much of the outer husk of the garlic as possible without separating the cloves. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Unwrap foil, and separate the cloves slightly so that they cook evenly. Wrap again and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until the garlic is very soft. Set aside to cool.

Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add lamb shanks and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan, and drain on paper towels. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and then add carrots, onions and celery; saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add wine, and cook until it has reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in beef stock, tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaf. Peel half the roasted garlic cloves, and add to the pan; bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pan, cover tightly and place in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning the shanks occasionally, or until the meat is very tender.

Meanwhile, drain beans and place in a large heavy pot. Add water to cover by about 4 inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Drain. With tongs, transfer the shanks to a plate, cover and keep warm. Remove bay leaf from the sauce, and skim off fat. Boil the sauce for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Peel the remaining roasted garlic, and add to the sauce along with the drained beans. Heat through, and season with salt and pepper. Mound the bean mixture on a platter and place the lamb shanks on top.

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