Braised Lamb Shanks and a Merry Christmas!


sheltie xmasI hope you had a wonderful and fun Christmas or holiday! I have to admit that it was chaotic and somewhat stressful planning all the meals and presents in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but I cannot imagine a more relaxing Christmas Day.

xmas table setting

Christmas time in LA is presents, trees, lights, jammed freeways, crowded grocery stores, and gorgeous décor. I love it all.

Some of the food I cooked included a standing rib roast, braised lamb shanks (see recipe below), cheesy polenta, cheese plate, broccolini and beans, waldorf salad, and chocolate chip cookies. My favorite is still the rib roast.

cheese plate

prime rib

braised lamb

chocolate chip cookies

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Braised Lamb Shanks


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks (each about 1 1/4 pounds; 1 shank is a portion)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large Spanish onion or 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup hearty red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 10 to 12 thyme branches tied together in a bundle
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Gremolata (combine zest from 1 orange and 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, and 2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish in a small bowl)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Add enough olive oil to coat a large dutch oven and heat over medium high heat. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper on both sides and sear in dutch over until browned on all sides. Place lamb shanks in a plate and set aside.
  3. Puree onion, carrots, garlic and celery in a food processor until it forms a coarse paste.
  4. Add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to the dutch oven and add the pureed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 20 minutes until browned and aromatic. Add tomato paste and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in wine, thyme, rosemary and cook until wine has been reduced by half.
  5. Add shanks back to the pot. Add beef broth and about 2 cups of water until the shanks are submersed. Add bay leaves, cover the pot, and place in oven for 2.5 hours. Turn shanks over half way through. Shanks should be tender and falling off the bone when it's done.
  6. Garnish with gremolata and serve with cheesy polenta, if desired.

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