Dave has a standing phone date with his parents on Sunday. “I’m going to call the parental units,” he’ll tell me, and when he finishes, I ask first how his family is doing and second, what his dad is making for dinner.
I figured he would be making something extra special for Easter, so I couldn’t wait to hear. “Lamb kebabs,” Dave told me. “With tzatiki sauce and naan.”
“Why didn’t I think of that?!” I groaned. Here I was, making delicious braised lamb shanks with pureed parsnips and complaining that I wasn’t brilliant enough to think of lamb kebabs. Foodies, I tell ya.
Slow-Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks with Pureed Parsnips
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup demi-glace
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 lamb shanks, external fat trimmed (in this case, I used one upper lamb shank, which was huge)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup red wine
Put the onion, celery stalks, carrots, garlic cloves, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves in a crock pot, and stir to combine. I was fortunate enough to have some of Dave’s homemade demi-glace to add at this point. If you don’t have demi-glace, I would recommend adding more wine and stock and an extra dash of salt and pepper later on.
Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Add the shanks and brown on all sides, about five minutes total. Transfer to crock pot.
Add the wine to the saute pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the wine to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for two hours, then turn heat to low for about four more hours. (Internal temperature for medium done should read about 140 degrees).
Remove the lamb from the slow cooker and transfer to a large plate. Remove bay leaves from the sauce, and use a stick blender to puree the sauce until smooth.
Recipe adapted from: Williams Sonoma
Meanwhile, prepare parsnips.
- 2 lbs parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425. Toss parsnips with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Move parsnips to a blender or food processor and combine with water, milk, butter, salt & pepper.
Serve lamb shank over pureed parsnips and top with sauce.
You could also serve the lamb over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, but I highly recommend trying the parsnips. They taste like a cross between a potato and carrot–creamy when pureed, with a slight earthy, nutty taste. A perfect bed for lamb!