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Brew-Braised Lamb Shanks w/Apple Butter & Sauerkraut
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Servings: 6
Difficulty:  7 of 10
Courtesy: blog.messermeister.com
Ingredients
· 6 Lamb shanks 3/4 - 1lb each 
· 2 Teaspoon(s) Kosher salt 
· 1/2 Teaspoon(s) Freshly ground black pepper 
· 2 Tablespoon(s) Grapseed oil 
· 2 Medium onions, finely chopped 
· 3 Large carrots, cut into 1in lengths
· 2 Stalks celery, cut into 1in lengths
· 3 Cloves garlic, very finely chopped
· 1/4 Teaspoon(s) Ground cayenne 
· 12 Ounce(s) Beer 
· 2 Cup(s) Beef or chicken broth 
· 28 Ounce(s) Canned whole tomatoes 
· 1/2 Cup(s) Sauerkraut juice 
· 1 Cup(s) Drained sauerkraut 
· 1/2 Cup(s) Apple butter 
· 1 Small rutabaga, peeled & cut into 1in chunks 
· 1/3 Cup(s) Dried red lentils 
· 5 Sprigs fresh thyme tied together with kitchen twine or 1t dried thyme
· 1 Teaspoon(s) dried juniper berries, crushed (optional)
· 3 Bay leaves 
Directions
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325º F. Dry the lamb shanks well. Sprinkle the lamb shanks on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook three of the lamb shanks until deeply browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining three lamb shanks, lowering the heat a bit if necessary to prevent burning. Remove the lamb shanks to a plate. Spoon out all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.

Step 2: Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan, for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high. Add the beer and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the beer is reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the broth, canned tomatoes with liquid, sauerkraut juice, sauerkraut and apple butter. Stir well to combine, lightly breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rutabaga, lentils, thyme, juniper berries (if using) and bay leaves. Return to a boil.

Step 4: Transfer the contents of the sauté pan to a roasting or braising pan large enough to hold the lamb shanks in a single layer. Add the lamb shanks and any juices to the pan, nestling them in among the vegetables and spooning over some of the liquid. Cover tightly with the pan’s lid or with foil. Bake in a 325ºF oven until the lamb is fork tender, about 2 hours. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Remove the lamb shanks to a platter. Spoon off and discard any visible fat from the sauce, then stir the sauce well. Serve the lamb smothered in sauce and vegetables, accompanied with mashed potatoes.

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