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Welcome back everyone! It is a new year, and after what seems like months of traveling and crazy events, its time for me to catch up on all the great meals I’ve made but haven’t been able to write about. So without further ado, here we go with some great winter flavors for the new year!

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CITRUS-BRAISED LAMB SHANKS

DIFFICULTY: 4/5

TIME REQUIRED: 3 – 3.5 Hours

What You’ll Need:

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4 Lamb Shanks (or however many you want to serve! I recommend about 1 pound each serving)

1 Large Carrot

1 Medium Yellow Onion

Thyme

Bay Leaf

Fresh Garlic

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

One Small Can of Tomato Paste

2 cups of a Dry White Wine to cut through the acidity of the sauce – Feel free to save the rest for yourself!

Chicken Broth (Any size box should do – you’ll only need about a cup)

Lemon

Lime

Orange

Okay Let’s Get Started!

You’ll wanna start by heating up your Olive Oil in a large pot or pan – medium high heat, be sure to use enough oil to lightly cover the surface of the pan, but not much more than that. Season your lamb with Salt and Pepper, and begin searing them on both sides until they are totally browned all over, about 10 minutes. You may need to do this in batches!

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Meanwhile you can start chopping your Carrots and Onions, and preparing the Bay Leaf and Thyme.

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As soon as the Lamb is cooked, transfer the shanks to a plate and pour off any excess fat. At this point, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 250 degrees, and prepare a large pot that is oven safe and big enough to hold 4 cups of liquid, plus our lamb shanks. Add in a Tablespoon of oil and Saute your Onion and Carrot until nice and soft, about 5-7 minutes.

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As soon as your veggies are ready, add in about 3 cloves of minced Garlic, 3 sprigs of Thyme, a Bay Leaf, and the Tomato Paste (this should be 1 1/2 Tbsp), salt and pepper.

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Stir it all together and cook for a short minute – just enough to release the fragrances. This is when all of the bold flavors will start to build up the base of the dish!

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Now we’re going to add some juice and zest from a lemon and a lime. If you’re like me, you also like to add some great alcoholic flavors to anything with citrus. I like to add some great Mexican Tequila and some Triple Sec:

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So at this point we’ll take our vegetables and make them into a great citrus braising sauce.

Add in our two cups of wine, a cup of broth, and the freshly squeezed juices/zest of our lemon and lime. I like to hand squeeze them myself, but feel free to use a juicer!

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Here’s our sauce after the zesting!

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Okay! We’re ready to add back our lamb. Gently add them to our heavy oven pot and bring it to a light simmer.

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Now for the easy part! Cover your pot and put it in the oven carefully. This can be pretty tough as the pot is quite heavy, so be careful!Image

Now set your timer for 2.5 hours and enjoy the slow process as the citrus smells fill your kitchen!

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(I used a one hour timer two and a half times – this part is a no-brainer….but do what you like!)

Once your lamb shanks are ready, pull them out with some tongs, and squeeze orange juice over them. I served mine in the broth, over rice, and garnished with thyme, but feel free to drizzle the sauce lightly over your shanks instead and serve with vegetables of your choosing. They’re great with orzo and polenta as well! If you have children, or you just don’t like to work for your food, feel free to shred the meat right off the bones before serving, as it should be quite tender.

I hope you enjoy the bright, colorful flavors of these Citrus-Braised Lamb Shanks!

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~CG~

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