This Lamb Shanks in Saskatoon Pinot Noir Sauce dish is adapted from a recipe that my friend Margie Gibb generously shared with me an eon ago. Margie made it with blueberries for a special Slow Food Calgary committee meeting at our friend Janice Beaton’s home. We all oohed, ahed and mmm’d are way through that succulent meal. I make it with Saskatoon berries because they are an Alberta signature food.
Being a good “Slow Foodie” – and having co-written Food Artisans of Alberta – I’m always searching for great local producers. I got my the lamb from Ewe-nique Farms in Champion, Alberta. The owners, Bert & Caroline Vande Bruinhorst and their children, take tender loving care of their animals. They have a small inspected processing facility on their farm so that same tender loving care goes into every cut they prepare as well. I just realized how long they’ve been raising Alberta Lamb when I searched this blog and found this entry from 2011.
It’s spring. If you are going to eat lamb, this is the time to do it. Other Alberta Lamb producers you can check out include: Lazuli, Pasu, Lambtastic, Tangle Ridge, Sunterra’s Sun Gold, Farm Fresh Lamb, Four Whistle Farm and Whispering Cedars Ranch. Read on for the recipe.
Lambs Shanks in Saskatoon Pinot Noir Sauce
Recipe Tip: As you near completion of this recipe, boil and mash a mixture of sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes. It’s the perfect nest for the complex flavours of this dish to come to rest on. I also served sautéed green beans, mushrooms and onion with butter and thyme.
Time: 30 minutes hands-on and 3 to 4 hours braising in the oven.
Yield: 4 servings
Equipment: Tongs, Dutch oven, sieve, potato masher and bowl
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks (flour for dredging them and Salt and Pepper to taste)
- 1 leek (mostly the white part, chopped)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup Pinot Noir wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary (plus a few smaller pieces for garnish)
- 2 cups saskatoon berries (divided equally)
- Preheat the oven to 325℉.
- Heat a large Dutch oven on the stove on medium-high heat and then add the oil.
- Dredge the lamb shanks in the flour and salt and pepper then add them to the hot oil and brown on all sides.
- Add the leeks, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, wine, stock, thyme, rosemary and half the berries.
- Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any brown bits. Cover, place in the oven and cook for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Remove from the oven and lift the lamb shanks to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm.
- Place a sieve over a bowl and strain the liquids from the Dutch oven. Press with a potato masher to get all the liquid out.
- Return the liquids to the Dutch oven, add the other cup of saskatoon berries and heat it on medium heat until reduced to a thick sauce consistency.
- Arrange the lamb shanks on a pillow of mashed sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes and cover with the sauce and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
- Enjoy with a green vegetable on the side and more Pinot Noir.