Cider-Braised Lamb Shanks with Porcini Mushrooms

ciderLambShanks

Courtesy of co-owner Chris Maserio, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace

Serves 4–6

1 (1-ounce) package dried Porcini mushrooms
2 slices pancetta, ¼ inch thick, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2–3 lamb shanks
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, small dice
1 stalks celery, small dice
1 sprig rosemary leaves removed and minced
3 sprigs thyme leaves removed and minced
¼ teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1½ teaspoons hot paprika
2 cups red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise
1 cup fresh apple cider
2 large carrots, sliced thick on bias
3 dried figs, cut in ¼-inch slices
6 shallots, halved
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup curly parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place mushrooms in a large bowl with 4 cups of hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Reserve.

In Dutch oven, render the pancetta until crisp, then remove with slotted spoon. Reserve.

Add olive oil to hot Dutch oven. Season lamb shanks and sear on all sides until brown, about 5 minutes total. Remove and reserve.

Add garlic, onions, celery, rosemary and thyme. Sauté until onions are translucent and lightly browned.

Add cooked pancetta back to the pot along with cloves, cumin, coriander and paprika. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Add red wine, cinnamon stick and anise and reduce by ¼.

Add apple cider, porcini mushrooms including the water, and lamb shanks.

Bring to a slow simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Add figs.

Remove pot from stove and place in oven to roast, covered, for 1½ hours.

Add carrots and shallots and continue to roast, covered, for another ½ hour.

Then, remove cover and continue roasting for an additional ½ hour to reduce liquid if needed, being careful not to dry out. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Remove to warm serving platter. Mix lemon and parsley. Sprinkle over top of dish as garnish

Serve alongside creamy potatoes, lentils, mashed or roasted yams

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