Rajat Parr braises his ultratender lamb shanks in a rich mix of red wine, tomatoes, and cinnamon.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 lamb shanks (5 pounds total)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups dry red wine, such as Syrah
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 stick cinnamon (1/2 inch)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
- Cheesy Farro-and-Tomato Risotto, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the onion to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook until very thick, 2 minutes. Add the red wine and boil for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cloves, cardamom, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Add the lamb and any accumulated juices and cover. Braise in the oven for 2 hours, turning once, until the meat is very tender.
- Transfer the lamb to a bowl and cover with foil. Strain the braising liquid into a large skillet and skim off the fat. Boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, 20 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the skillet, cover, and simmer over low heat, turning the shanks a few times, until heated through, 3 minutes. Transfer the shanks and sauce to shallow bowls, garnish with the mint and serve with Cheesy Farro-and-Tomato Risotto.