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Wine Pairing, By Jim Schwabe

Lamb just screams out for a big Cabernet. The tannin and dark berry flavor beautifully contrast with the richness and fat of the lamb. Baccarossa 2014 Mendocino Gold Carbernet Sauvignon is your perfect companion for this meal.

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 Lamb Shanks with Herbs, Perfect for Easter Dinner
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Lamb Shanks with Herbs, Pressure Cooker Version

by Jim Schwabe

Adapted from Braised Lamb Shanks with Fresh Herbs by Melissa Clark.
I love Melissa Clark’s recipes but wanted a faster version than the 4+ hours of the traditional recipe. I also didn’t have all of the fresh herbs, but I did have dried herbs. I’m sure it would be even better with the fresh herbs, but I have to say it was fantastic and only took a little over an hour total time by using the InstantPot pressure cooker. I cooked 2 lamb shanks (2.5 pounds), for three adults, which was perfect. Serve with Baccarossa Cabernet Sauvignon, and mashed potatoes or garlic bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 pounds lamb shanks (5 to 6 shanks)
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, coarsely cracked
½ teaspoon cayenne 
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ cups dry red wine
1 bunch chopped scallions
3 cups chopped spicy greens such as combination of spinach, kale, and young chard
1 ½ tsp coriander powder (or chopped 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro if you have it)
2 tsp parsley flakes (or 1 cup chopped fresh, tender stems and leaves only)
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried tarragon (or 1 cup fresh tarragon, tender stems and leaves only)
½ cup chopped chives
About 1 cup chicken stock, or water
Fresh lemon juice, as needed (optional)

1. In a large bowl large enough to hold the lamb, mix together salt, paprika and pepper. Add shanks and rub all over with spice mix. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours (or up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a very thin film of olive oil. Sear the lamb in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, adding more oil as needed. Take your time with this, making sure to brown the lamb all over. Transfer browned lamb to Instant Pot.

3. Add onion to empty skillet and cook it in the lamb drippings, adding a more oil if pan looks dry, until limp and lightly browned at the edges, about 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic, coriander, cayenne and allspice and cook until the garlic is very fragrant and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Pour in wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits on bottom of pan. Let mixture simmer about 5 minutes. Pour over lamb in InstantPot. Add stock.

5. In a bowl, toss together scallions, spicy greens, and herbs. Add about a third of the greens and herb mixture to the pressure cooker and set remaining aside for serving. Set pressure cooker to 45 minutes at high pressure. When finished, turn off the warming function and allow pressure to escape naturally.

6. Pour only the liquid from the InstantPot into the skillet. Sauté until liquid is reduced to a thin glaze, then add the greens/herb mixture. Stir the greens into the sauce for about 30 seconds, until just wilted. Place lamb and the solid bits on a platter and pour the sauce over top.
picture of cooked lamb shank eaten to the bone
image of lamb shanks in packaging
Pictures of the beginning and the end, but it smelled so good I completely forgot to take a picture of the cooked lamb on the platter.