Braised lamb shanks - so easy, and so great for a dinner party!
1 Tbs. canola oil 3-4 lamb shanks, 14 to 16 oz. each salt & pepper to taste 1½ cup pearl onions 2 medium cloves garlic, minced 3/4 cup full-bodied red wine (your fave) 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries 1 cup low-salt beef broth (home made - right?) 1/3 cup honey 3 Tbs. minced chipotles in adobo 2 tsp. ground cumin chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 325°F. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the oil, then add the lamb shanks and cook, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the onion in the skillet over medium heat, stirring until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the cranberries, broth, honey, chipotles, and cumin and cook until the cranberries start to pop, about 5 minutes. Place the shanks back in the skillet, cover tightly with a lid or heavy-duty foil. Place in the oven and cook, turning the lamb shanks 2 or 3 times during cooking, until they are fork tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover to keep warm. Skim any fat from the sauce in the skillet and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.