Lightly seasoned lamb shanks are braised until the meat falls off the bone for this simple recipe of Lamb Shanks with Fava Beans with a rich Cream Fraiche sauce.
We were talking about some outrageous Merguez Lamb Shanks that we had on a trip to Europe the other day as we wandered into one of my favorite magazine stores. Sitting on the counter was the UK Food and Travel magazine with its glossy cover tempting us; we love this magazine. Mouths watering all over the floor we picked up the magazine and started flipping through it. The first recipe that caught our eyes was a recipe for Lamb Shanks with Fava Beans. We love fava beans so we knew we had to make a version of this recipe.
The recipe is fairly easy and very straight forward. Lamb shanks are slowly braised with aromatics and then served with fava beans, baby potatoes, herbs, and a rich mint sauce. This is definitely a recipe that screams springtime but you can make it work all season as long as you can find lamb shanks and fresh or frozen fava beans.
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Lamb Shanks with Fava Beans
Serves 2 – double or triple to serve more
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lamb shanks, meaty ones
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable stock or white wine
1 lb assorted baby potatoes, if they are a bit large cut in half or even quarters
2 cups shelled fava beans, skinned
1/3 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
5 ounces creme fraiche
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 325.
Remove the meat around the top of the lamb by gently loosening the tendon and pushing down with a knife. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large dutch oven over medium heat add the olive oil and then lightly brown the shanks on all sides. Push the meat to the side of the pan.
Lower the heat to low and add the onions, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and stir. Place the shanks on top of the onion mixture and cover with the vegetable broth.
Cover the dutch oven with a lid and place into the oven. Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the shanks are very fork-tender. Should register 130 on a meat thermometer for rare.
While the shanks for cooking prepare the fava beans and potatoes.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork-tender.
Plunge the fava beans into a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and peel off the skins. I usually do this in the same pot as the potatoes during the last couple of minutes. Saves on dishes.
Drain both the potatoes and fava beans and give the fava beans a quick rinse with cold water to stop them from overcooking. Set aside both to dry a bit before serving.
When the lamb is finished cooking remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Place the shanks into a serving bowl.
Gently reheat the juices over low heat. Stir in the creme fraiche and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and mint.
Place the potatoes and fava beans alongside the meat and then drizzle with sauce.