Lamb Shanks with Garlic

You've got to try them to believe them. The meat is so tender it practically falls away from the bone by itself. If you're a lamb chops fan, this just might replace them in your affections.


  • 4 lamb shanks, outside fat removed
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, dried tarragon and dried basil
  • 3/4 cup very dry white wine (Italian Frascati works well and is inexpensive)
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly-ground pepper


  1. In a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid, brown the salted shanks in the olive oil. When they have begun to brown on the second side, toss in the garlic, lower the heat, and continue to cook them for 1 and 1/2 hours in their own juices. Turn them occasionally.
  2. Sprinkle the shanks with the herbs. When all liquid has disappeared and they begin to sizzle, add a spoonful of water from time to time so that a touch of liquid remains always in the bottom of the pan.
  3. When all the liquid has been used and the meat again begins to sizzle, move it to a plate, pour off the fat from the pan, and de-glaze the pan with the white wine, scraping and stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the little caramelized pieces. Put this entire mixture through a sieve to get rid of the garlic hulls, then return it to the pan. Keep it simmering until it is reduced by half and considerably thicker. There should be only enough sauce to coat the shanks of lamb.
  4. Return the meat to the pan, warm it through, and sprinkle it with parsley and freshly-ground pepper.

Serves 4.

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