Oven Roasted Lamb Shanks with Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Orzo

Total Time:
7 hr 30 min
Prep:
1 hr 30 min
Cook:
6 hr

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Roasted Garlic Bulbs
  • 1 head garlic, split in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Make extra roasted heads to use for garnish on the plate, if desired
  • Lamb Shanks:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 lamb shanks, bone-in
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup port
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley plus freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
  • Roasted Garlic Cloves
  • Toasted Orzo Pasta:
  • 3/4 pound orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup reduced lamb braising liquid (from above)
  • Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 vertically
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
For the roasted garlic bulbs:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Place garlic heads in a small roasting dish and drizzle each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft. Let cool slightly and squeeze the cloves of garlic into a small bowl.

  • For the lamb shanks:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until smoking. Season the shanks on both sides with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on both sides, remove to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and add the celery, carrots and onions and cook until caramelized.

  • Add the port and red wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, thyme, parsley sprigs and shanks and salt and pepper and bring to a boil on the stove, cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender.

  • Remove shanks to a plate and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and discard the solids Whisk in the roasted garlic and cook over high heat, whisking occasionally, until reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the liquid to use for the orzo and continue reducing the remaining liquid by half again or until thickened to a glaze. Serve the lamb on top of the orzo and drizzle the shanks with the reduced cooking liquid, oven roasted tomatoes and chopped parsley.

  • For the orzo pasta:

  • Heat a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the orzo and toast until golden brown.

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the toasted orzo and the remaining orzo and saute for 1 minute to coat the pasta with the oil/onion mixture. Bring 8 cups of water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot (or a combination of chicken stock and water) and add hot water/stock to the orzo as if you were making risotto, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente (you may not need to use all of the water). Stir in the cold butter and a 1 cup of the braising liquid, chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste and cook 1 minute longer.

  • For the slow roasted tomatoes:

  • Toss the tomatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 200 degree F oven for 6 hours.


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