Cranberries and chipotle chiles in adobo sauce impart a tangy-sweet and smoky flavor to these succulent braised lamb shanks. Like most braised meats, the shanks improve with reheating.
Make Ahead Tips
You can braise the shanks (but don’t add the cilantro) up to 3 days ahead. Transfer to a container to cool—storing them in the skillet can give them a metallic flavor and can degrade the pan’s seasoning. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, slowly reheat, covered, in the cast-iron skillet in the oven. Then add the cilantro, season, and garnish as directed above.
The secret to braising—low and slow cooking in a little liquid—is to maintain a gentle, even simmer. A cast-iron skillet keeps the temperature steady even when the heat is low, and its size works well for smaller cuts of meat, such as short ribs and the lamb shanks here.
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I prepared this as per instructions, except for cooking the shanks in a pressure cooker instead of the oven. I did it a day ahead and removed all the meat off the bones and skimmed off the fat before I reduced the sauce. I served it over risotto, so it was nice to have the meat done ahead of time. Everyone loved it!
Loved the recipe but didn't have fresh cranberries so I substituted craisins and omitted the honey...delicious! I used an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven so the sauce consistency worked out perfectly.
My vocabulary is too limited for me to articulate just how good these shanks are. The recipe is easy and the payoff is huge. BTW, in the final step, I had more liquid than I thought I should. It took a bit longer to reduce to the correct consistency, but it was worth the extra time to thicken the sauce. The hotness from the chipotles is moderated if you wait a day to serve. Enjoy!
Scrumptious. It was the perfect balance between heat and sweet. The aroma while it was cooking drove my husband crazy and he hoped it was not going to be one of those "smells better than it tastes" recipes. It did not disappoint and I will definitely make this again. I had never cooked lamb shanks before and was afraid they might be too fatty but I didn't have to skim off any fat. While the recipe called for four shanks my grocer sold them in packages of three. I cooked all six, in two pans, and was glad I did because we were very happy to have leftovers.
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