These lamb shanks have become my favorite way to do lamb shanks.
The original recipe from the NY Times Cooking feeds 6-8. I’ve adapted it to use my Instant Pot and made it to serve 2-3.
Braised Lamb Shanks with Lots of Herbs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 lamb shanks
- Olive oil
- 1 small onion (white or red), peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely cracked
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
- 2 cup chopped spicy greens such as mustard greens or arugula
- 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped mint or dill or a combination
- 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- About 1/2 cup chicken or lamb stock, or water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Fresh lemon juice, as needed (optional)
In a large bowl (or Ziploc bag) large enough to hold the lamb, mix together salt, paprika and pepper. Add shanks and rub all over with spice mix. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours (or up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator.
Hear a splash of olive oil in the Insta-Pot set to “Sauté.” Sear the lamb, adding more oil as needed. Take your time with this, making sure to brown the lamb all over. Transfer browned lamb to a plate.
When all the lamb is cooked, add onion to Insta-Pot and cook it in the lamb drippings (adding a more oil if pan looks dry) until limp and lightly browned at the edges, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, coriander, cayenne and allspice and cook until the garlic is very fragrant and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Pour in wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on bottom of pot. Let mixture simmer until thickened and reduced by about a third (about 5 minutes). Add lamb back to pan and coat with the mixture.
In a bowl, toss together scallions, spicy greens, and herbs. Sprinkle lamb with half the herb mixture and set remaining half aside for serving, add chicken stock. Cover the Instant Pot and turn to “Slow Cook” and cook until meat is falling off the bones, about 6 hours. If the bottom of the pan starts to dry out before lamb is done, add a few tablespoons of the stock or water to moisten it.
When shanks are tender, transfer to a heated serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. If you like, at this point you can tear the meat off the bones, or serve the shanks bone-in.
Turn Instant Pot to “Sauté.” If pan is dry, add remaining stock or water and bring to a simmer. (If drippings in pan seem very fatty, spoon off some of the fat.) Bring drippings to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on bottom of pan.
Once the liquid is reduced to a thin glaze, add butter to pot along with all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining herbs (save those for garnish). Whisk sauce until smooth, then taste and add lemon juice as needed. Pour sauce over the lamb and garnish with chopped herbs. Serve and enjoy!
As I said in the intro, this might be my new favorite way to do lamb shanks! The shanks were so tender and the combination of cooked down and fresh herbs was delicious.
Doing it in the Instant Pot has its advantages: you can brown the shanks without covering your stove in grease, and there’s only one pot to deal with. I just let them cook away on the counter all afternoon and finished them off before we ate. If I was braver, using the pressure cooker setting would probably save hours of time, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
I served it over some sliced potatoes I tossed in olive oil, microwaved for 4 minutes and then tossed in with the lamb, but orzo, couscous, polenta or rice would work well.