Zinfandel-Braised Lamb Shanks

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These lamb shanks that are slowly braised in wine sauce make a delectable meal. They are served over creamy polenta and topped with the fragrant and savory sauce.


1⁄4 cup olive oil
8 lamb shanks, trimmed
3 cups onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper, as needed
5 cups zinfandel
1 cup lamb stock or water
1⁄2 cup tomato puree
1 1⁄2 cups olives, pitted


1. In a large, oven-proof pot, heat oil and brown shanks on all sides, about 5 min. Remove shanks and reduce heat; add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables have softened.

2. Add cumin and season with salt and pepper. Add zinfandel, and deglaze the pan. Add stock and tomato puree. Bring to a boil, return shanks to pot, and simmer for 5 min.

3. Cover, place in oven, and bake about 1 1⁄2 hrs.

4. Add olives and bake another 20 min. Remove meat and olives; keep warm. Skim fat from surface of liquid and reduce slightly, about 5 min.

5. Serve lamb shanks on top of creamy polenta and drizzle with sauce. Serve with braised artichokes, if desired.

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