Braised Lamb Shanks on Mashed Fingerlings

IngredientsGame, Potatoes, Vegetables
Day PartDinner
Menu PartEntree
lamb shank

Source: American Lamb Board

Lamb is an underused protein in casual dining because food costs are generally higher for many cuts. But lamb shanks are a bit gentler on the budget and provide slightly higher margins. For this hearty entree, Chef Keller braises the shanks until meltingly tender, then serves them with mashed fingerling potatoes and spinach.  


Herb Oil:

3 oz. olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. fresh cracked black pepper
2 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
2 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

Braised Shanks:

6 lamb fore shanks
4 oz. Herb Oil (recipe follows)
2 large carrots, scrubbed and diced
1/2 bunch celery, washed and diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
4 cups red wine
2 qt. lamb or chicken stock
12 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. unsalted butter

Mashed Fingerlings:

24 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
8 tbsp. butter
2 oz. heavy cream, scalded
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauteed Spinach:

3 tbsp. unsalted butted
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 lb. spinach, washed, stems removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh rosemary sprigs


  1. Prepare Herb Oil: In blender, combine oil, garlic, pepper, tarragon, rosemary and mustard; blend on high for 10 seconds.
  2. Prepare Braised Lamb Shanks: Rub lamb shanks with Herb Oil; refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. In 12-qt. braising or roasting pan over medium-high heat, sear shanks on all sides until they turn a rich brown color. Remove shanks; let rest.  Add carrots, celery and onion to hot pan; sauté until tender.  Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up bits from bottom. Add stock and thyme; bring to a simmer.
  4. Place seared shanks back into the pan; cover and braise in oven about 2 hours or until lamb is very tender and almost falling off the bone. Remove shanks; keep warm.  Strain stock into large saucepan and place over high heat; reduce by 70 percent. Season with salt and pepper and finish with butter; reserve these pan juices.
  5. Prepare Mashed Fingerlings: In large saucepan, steam or boil potatoes until fork tender; drain.  Mash potatoes with butter, cream, parsley, salt and pepper.
  6. Prepare Sautéed Spinach: In large skillet over medium heat, combine butter and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes.  Add spinach, stirring occasionally; cook until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. To plate: Place 4 ounces Mashed Fingerlings on bottom of plate; top with Sautéed Spinach and balance shank on top, bone straight up. Finish with pan juices and rosemary garnish.

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