" Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" Shrunken Shanks and Pygmy Veggies in Red Wine Reduction

You may have shrunk the kids, but not their appetites!! Feed them!

You will need:

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 4 tbl olive oil
  • 2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 8 garlic cloves, cut in slivers
  • 3 tbl flour
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato ,peeled, deseeded, chopped
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 1 bottle pinot noir (or other medium bodied red wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 bunch parsley sprigs
  • 1 lb assorted pygmy vegetables: potato, carrot, zucchini, etc
  • 1 magnifying glass


1. Rinse shanks in cold water and trim off excess fat. Mix together half of the lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, sugar and 1 tbl of olive oil and rub mixture well into shanks. Let meat stand at least 10 minutes.

2. With a sharp knife, cut 8-10 small slits in the meat of each shank and insert the garlic slivers into the slits. Dust each shank lightly with flour.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot and sear the shanks on all sides until nicely browned. Pour off all but 2 tbl of the pan drippings and add the chopped onion, celery, carrot, tomato, tomato paste and saute a few more minutes at a medium heat.

4. Add half the bottle of wine and with a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to reduce by one half.

5. Return the meat to the pot (along with any juices on the plate) and add the hot beef stock, lemon juice, bay leaf and parsley sprigs.

6. Cover the pot and braise at a low simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender, turning shanks half way through. Add the baby vegetables for the last 20 minutes of cooking.

7. Remove meat and vegetables to a warm platter, degrease sauce if necessary, and reduce to desired consistency. Check and correct seasonings.

8. Remember, there are no small meals, only small cooks.

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