Lamb Shanks with Cannellini Beans


  • 1 and 1/2 cups dried Cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  4 meaty lamb shanks
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  •  3 cups chicken stock
  •  1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  •  1 teaspoon chopped thyme


  • In a large saucepan, cover the beans and bay leaf with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the beans are tender, about 20 hours. Drain the beans and discard the bay leaf.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat an enameled cast-iron casserole that’s large enough to hold the lamb shanks in a single layer. Season the shanks with salt and pepper; cook over moderate heat, turning several times, until browned all over., about 15 minutes. Nestle the garlic cloves among the shanks. Cover and cook in the oven for about an hour and 45 minutes, turning three times, until the shanks are very tender.
  • Reduce heat to 200 degrees. Transfer the shanks to a small roasting pan, and the garlic cloves to a small bowl. Cover the shanks with foil and keep warm in the oven. Strain the juices from the casserole into a bowl and skim off the fat. Return the juices to the casserole, add the chicken stock and place the casserole over a burner. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and add the sherry vinegar. Using a fork, mash to a paste, then add paste to the juices in the casserole; stir in the beans and thyme. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, and season to taste. Place the lamb shanks on plates and serve with the beans.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret, Napa Valley
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