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Balsamic & Caramelized Onion Braised American Lamb Shanks over White Bean & Winter Greens Risotto

Prep Time:
30 mins.
Cook Time:
2 1/2 hrs.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 bone-in American lamb shanks
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
White Bean & Winter Greens Risotto
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch red chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock, warmed
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Pat the lamb shanks dry and season them all over with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the flour and set aside.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the lamb shanks (working in batches if necessary) and sear until golden brown all over, about 6 minutes total. Remove the lamb shanks to a plate, reserving as much oil in the pot as possible and return the Dutch oven to medium heat.
  3. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the onions and sauté until wilted and opaque. Turn heat down to reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are light brown and begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, then return the lamb shanks to the pot and pour in the beef stock and thyme.
  4. Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil then cover and move to the oven. Braise the lamb shanks, turning once, until fork tender, about 2 hours.
  5. To prepare risotto, heat a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chard and sauté until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir, cooking until the rice is toasted, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the wine and cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir constantly until all stock has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until all of the stock has been used and rice is “al dente”, about 20 to 25 minutes. Once the risotto is “al dente” remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese and the beans. Season to taste with salt, then set aside and keep warm.
  7. To serve, divide the risotto among 4 serving bowls. Top risotto with a lamb shank, then spoon some of the sauce and onions over the top. Serve immediately.

Source: Cooking with Cocktail Rings & The American Lamb Board