We’re loving Southern California chef Robin Goldstein’s recipes from the wine regions she knows and loves best. Pick up a copy of Simple Delicious Wine Country Recipes, and add a new favorite to your dinner party repertoire, like these succulent lamb shanks with figs and rosemary.
I ordered the lamb that night at dinner in the port town of Mykonos — slow roasted lamb shanks, meltingly tender and braised in red wine. All I could say was, “We will be doing this again very soon for a dinner party!” If you’ve never had braised lamb shanks before, you’re missing out on one of life’s great pleasures.This hearty dish with a sweetness that comes from dried figs could definitely stand in for comfort food on a chilly night; not necessarily something for every day. It’s perfect for a dinner party or a special occasion because it can be made ahead, which I suggest. Making it the day before allows you to chill the sauce so it can be defatted once cold and the flavors only get better with time as well.
- 4 lamb shanks, trimmed
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 12 dried figs, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
For the lamb
Liberally sprinkle the lamb shanks all over with a mixture of salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Heat a large heavy sauce pot over medium-high heat and brown the shanks in olive oil on all sides. Remove the shanks and set aside.
Sauté the sliced onion and garlic in the pan drippings until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, broth, tomatoes, figs and rosemary. Return the shanks to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours or cook in a slow cooker for 4-6 hrs.
Remove the shanks and boil the sauce for another 15 minutes or so, until it is reduced to a gravy-like consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the sauce with a ½ teaspoon of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Put the shanks back in the thickened sauce to heat through until ready to eat. Serve with fluffy mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles to sop up all the juices.