Coffee-Braised Lamb Shanks
When you want something special to serve to company, these slow cooked lamb shanks are sure to get rave reviews. Seasoned with a mix of dry toasted spices, then braised low and slow in a blend of beef stock, coffee, tomatoes and chili powder, these succulent shanks are fall-off-the-bone tender. We promise it's worth the effort! This adapted recipe from David Lebovitz comes to us from Food Guru Channel. Photo by Karen Pavone Photography.
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- For the Spice Mix:
- 2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- For the Meat:
- 4 grass fed Stemple Creek Lamb Shanks
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled & diced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
- 4 tsp. Ancho chile powder
- 2 cups beef stock (may substitute chicken stock)
- 1 cup strong coffee
- 3/4 cup diced canned tomatoes (with juice)
- 2 Tbl. red wine vinegar
- 1-2 tsp. hot sauce (Harissa or Sriracha are good)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Toast the coriander and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Crush the seeds with a mortar & pestle or spice mill and mix with salt, and a couple grinds of pepper.
- Trim excess fat, tough membranes and silver skin from the lamb shanks, then dry rub with the spice mixture. Note: you can do this step up to 2 days in advance of cooking, and store meat covered in the refrigerator, to allow the flavors to permeate.
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or casserole large enough to hold the shanks in a single layer. Add the shanks and cook them, turning after each side is well browned, until they are golden on all sides (about 15 minutes).
- Remove the browned shanks to a plate, and set aside.
- Wipe any excess grease from the pot, leaving 1-2 tablespoons behind. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant (1 minute or less).
- Add the Ancho chile powder and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the stock, coffee, tomatoes, vinegar, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn off the burner. Submerge the shanks in the liquid, cover the pot, and place in the oven.
- Cook, turning the shanks a couple of times during braising, until the meat is tender and pulling away from the bone (about 2.5-3 hours). The shanks should cook at a low simmer, not a boil. Check the pot after 20 minutes and reduce heat to 300F if liquid is boiling.
- When the shanks are done, set them aside and cover. Remove the lid from the pot and continue cooking to reduce the sauce to your liking.
- To serve, place lamb shank on top of mashed potatoes and spoon sauce on top.