I have been wanting to make a lamb dish for a while, but I have to admit I was a little nervous about it. I have only made lamb once before and it was a number of years ago….and it didn’t go too well. I knew at that point in time my family wouldn’t be on board with lamb, so I tried to trick them. I bought a leg of lamb and I cooked it on the grill and figured that if I didn’t tell them it was lamb they would think it was beef and all would be good. Well…..that wasn’t the case. Everyone started eating it and then were all asking why it tasted funny. Finally, Steve figured out it was lamb and I was busted!
Since then, everyone’s palettes have expanded and we now all like lamb. But after that experience, I was still nervous to make it at home. But then I saw a recipe for braised lamb shanks in the November issue of Cooking Light and I was ready to cook lamb again. So off I went to the store in search of lamb shanks….and the adventure began. The first store I went to didn’t have any lamb shanks, so I moved on to another store that I thought would have them. The second store did have lamb shanks, but they were ENORMOUS and would have cost a small fortune….hmmm now what? They did have veal shanks at a more reasonable size and price, so I almost bought those….but I wanted to make lamb. So I wondered aimlessly around the meat department for awhile until, finally, I saw that boneless leg of lamb was on sale! Since I could buy that without taking a second mortgage out on my house, I decided to give it a try.
I figured it would work just as well to braise a leg of lamb as it would to braise lamb shanks….and I was SO right! My second attempt at lamb turned out much better than the first, we all enjoyed it and the sauce was to die for! It’s also so easy to make since it has so few ingredients. It didn’t take much time at all to prep it and then you just let it do it’s thing for a few hours. I served it with mashed potatoes and LOTS of the sauce!
Braised Leg of Lamb
- 1 boneless leg of lamb (mine was about 2 1/2 lbs)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 – 14.5 cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- cooked mashed potatoes
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper.
Add to pan and brown for about 4 minutes on each side.
Remove from pan.
Reduce heat to medium and add garlic to the pan, saute for 15 seconds.
Add wine to pan and cook for 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen up browned bits.
Add tomatoes to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add lamb back to pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender.
Remove lamb from pan and cover loosely with foil.
Bring sauce to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until thickened. I then used a potato masher to help break up the tomatoes.
Slice lamb and return to pan and cook for a couple of minutes until heated through. Stir in parsley.
Serve lamb over mashed potatoes along with the sauce.
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