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Braised Lamb Shanks With Garlic

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 teaspoons Quatre Epices
  • 4 meaty lamb shanks, each about 1 pound
  • do not trim external fat
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup Banylus wine, vin doux naturel from Provence, or Port
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 plump, fresh heads garlic, separated into cloves, but not peeled
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Rub quatre epices all over the surface of the lamb shanks. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Stand the shanks, wider side down, narrow end up, in a large roasting pan. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Transfer the lamb to a platter and set aside.
  • Off the heat, deglaze the pan with wine, scraping up any cooked bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return the lamb to the pan standing on end, wider side down. Add the stock, cover, and return to the oven. Braise, without disturbing the meat, until the meat is very tender and just beginning to fall off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • For the garlic confit: Place the garlic in a small saucepan and cover with the olive oil. Cook, uncovered at the barest simmer, over the lowest possible heat, until the garlic is soft and a small knife inserted into a clove, meets no resistance, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Remove lamb from oven and place on a platter. Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer into a gravy boat. Drain the garlic and serve with the lamb.
  • Recipe courtesy Patricia Wells, The Paris Cookbook, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001