Ina’s Lamb Shanks with Orzo

I’ve tried many a cookbook and many a chef, but Ina Garten is just my number one, all of the time. Every recipe I’ve tried is just delicious and is never impossibly difficult (ie. use every single spice that you’ve never heard of, chiffonade your vegetables, flambe your meat – is that even possible? – leaven your flour, etc., etc.). You know the kind of insane recipe I’m talking about. So this Sunday, with a bit of time on my hands and the first weekend of November reminding me that winter is, indeed, coming, I attempted a recipe that I had been eyeing: lamb shanks with orzo (taken from Ina’s Foolproof). And it did NOT disappoint.

Lamb Shakes with Orzo

  • Flour (for dredging)
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Grapeseed oil (I think you can probably go without)
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 yellow chopped onions
  • 4-5 diced carrots
  • 3-4 stalks of diced celery
  • 1 handful of chopped rosemary
  • 3-4 minced cloves of garlic
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of white wine (and extra for serving)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups of orzo

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Step 2 – Combine the flour, a handful of salt, a handful of pepper on a plate or in a bowl and dredge each of the lamb shanks, wiping off the excess.

Step 3 – Heat the grapeseed oil (or olive oil) in a large dutch oven and cook the lamb shanks on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, turning every few minutes, until browned.

Step 4 – If using grapeseed oil, wipe out the Dutch oven. If just using olive oil, proceed and cook the onions, carrots, celery and rosemary for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Step 5 – Add the tomatoes (including the liquid from the cans), beef broth, wine, a few handfuls of salt and pepper for seasoning, and then the lamb shanks. Place the lamb shanks so that they’re basically submerged in the liquid. Place the bay leaves in the pot and bring to a simmer. Once the pot is simmering, place the cover on it and stick it in the oven for 2 hours (turn the lamb shanks once while it’s cooking).

Step 6 – After two hours, stir in the orzo and then return the pot to the oven for 20-30 minutes or so. Once the orzo is cooked, put in a splash of white wine, throw in some more salt and pepper, don’t eat the bay leaves, and begin enjoying the delicious feast you just made!

(And that’s what we did, folks. Which is why we have no pictures. Along with the fact that a stew is almost horrifyingly non-photogenic.) But we promise: A+. And I’ll say it one more time: Ina, I (we) love you.


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