Braised Shepherd Song Lamb Shanks with Roasted Turnips and Parsnips

Recipe and picture courtesy of Chef Lucia Watson, Lucia’s Restaurant, Minneapolis

Enjoy the colors of autumn with aromatic, succulent, slow cooked lamb shank and late season root vegetables. This is a leisurely preparation filling the kitchen with wonderful aromas. In this recipe, the low-fat, grass-fed lamb shanks are stove-top braised for 2-3 hours. Use a meat fork to check for doneness. Pierce the meaty portion of the shank with the fork. If the fork slips out of the meat easily it’s done to perfection. The tender meat will literally fall off the bone. This is a perfect cold weather dish to enjoy at home or while dining out with family and friends this holiday season.

Try Lamb: Shepherd Song’s 100% grass-fed lamb shanks will be featured at Lucia’s restaurant the week of November 19th. Shepherd Song lamb is also on the menu at many metro restaurants, including: Zelo, Bacio, Barbette, In Season, Mona, Merlin, Bradstreet, Common Roots, Nightingale, Solera, and the Birdhouse.

Buy Lamb: Lamb shanks and other meat cuts may be purchased at Use coupon code ‘grassfed1119’ for a 10% discount through November 30th, 2012. Shepherd Song Farm lamb and goat meat is also available at Specialty Meats in Hudson, Wisconsin and lamb meat at Spiral Natural Foods, Hastings, MN.

Ingredients for Lamb Shanks with Roasted Turnips and Parsnips 

6 lamb shanks
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic cut in half
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, washed and diced
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups red wine
4-6 c high quality chicken stock
1 sprig each: thyme, rosemary, parsley
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

In a heavy bottom casserole dish, heat the oil until smoking. Add the lamb shanks and brown all over, turning as each side browns. Remove the shanks to a plate. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrot to the kettle and brown over medium high heat, stirring often until golden and soft. Add the wine and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the shanks back into the kettle along with the herbs, tomato puree, and the stock. Add enough stock so that the shanks are just covered in the liquid. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered for about 2-3 hours, maintaining moisture levels. Meanwhile, prepare the root vegetables (see below).

When finished, the shanks should be very tender when poked with a fork and the broth should look dark and slightly glossy. Remove the shanks gently to a warm plate, cover loosely and set aside. Strain the juice and return to the pan. Evaluate if the juice is thick enough. If you would like it to be thicker, put on high heat and reduce until glossy. Taste the liquid and add more salt and pepper or more red wine. Return the shanks to the kettle, add the roasted root vegetables, and heat gently for about 5 minutes. Serve in bowls with croutons and parsley mixed with lemon zest.

Roasted Root Vegetables:

8 (approx.) large diced root vegetables: celery root, carrot, parsnips and turnips or whatever is available
4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Toss all of the vegetables together in a big bowl with about 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt. Place on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400° oven until starting to brown and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside.

Serves 6 guests.