Braised Lamb Shanks w/ Farro

Serves 2


For the Lamb

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • salt for liberal seasoning of lamb
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced, slivered or minced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3-5 anchovy fillets
  • rind of 1 preserved lemon (or a small amount of lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar

For the Farro

  • 1 cup farro (will yield 2 cups cooked)
  • pot of boiling water
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Parsley & Capers Salsa Verde

  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped
  • ⅓ cup olive oil (or to desired consistency)
  • salt to taste (optional)


Brown the Lamb Shanks

  1. Season lamb liberally on both sides with salt, and allow to sit in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using
  2. Heat a film of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat
  3. Brown the lamb well, turning the shanks over as each side browns. This should take about 5 minutes per side (for a total of about 10-15 minutes for all 4 sides)
  4. Once the lamb is deeply browned, remove it from the pan and set aside

Sauté Aromatics & Braise the Lamb

  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. To the same pan used to brown the lamb shanks, add more olive oil if the pan seems a bit dry, and keep it over the medium heat
  3. Add red onions, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper, anchovy fillets and preserved lemon rind. Sauté about 3-5 minutes until anchovies have melted and onions softened
  4. Carefully add the vinegar to deglaze the pan; you can do this off the heat, then return heat to medium, scraping the bottom of the pan to release bits of "fond" from the lamb which will flavor the dish
  5. Turn off heat and return the lamb shanks to the pan.  Cover the lamb shanks with a piece of parchment paper (directly on the surface of the lamb) and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Put the pan into the oven and braise the lamb 2½ - 3 hours, or until tender

Cook Farro

  1. About 30 minutes before the lamb has finished braising, start the farro
  2. Bring a pot of  water to a boil, and cook farro 10-15 minutes, as you would pasta. Drain and set aside
  3. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat with olive oil
  4. Add celery, carrots and onions (mirepoix), and season with 1 tbsp salt (it may seem generous, but that will be the right amount once the farro is added to the pot ). Sweat vegetables about 15 minutes, without browning. This will help them develop their sweetness and draw out the sugars
  5. Stir the cooked farro into the vegetables, cover and cook 10 minutes on medium

Prepare Salsa Verde

  1. In a food processor combine shallots, parsley and capers and finely chop
  2. Drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency. Taste and season with salt if necessary. (Salsa Verde can be prepared one day ahead, covered and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before serving)

Assemble & Garnish

  1. When the lamb is done, carefully remove foil and parchment paper
  2. Remove lamb from the pan and ladle off some of the fat from the braising liquid
  3. To plate, rest lamb shanks atop farro, and spoon braising liquid with garlic and preserved lemon over the top
  4. Garnish with salsa verde