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Braised Lamb Shanks With White Beans

4 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped coarse
1 medium carrot, chopped coarse
1 celery rib, chopped coarse
8 garlic cloves, chopped coarse
3 1/2 cups Bordeaux or other full-bodied red wine
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 fresh thyme sprigs

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leafed)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped fine
2 small carrots, chopped fine
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked white beans (preferably Great Northern or navy)
2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 fresh tarragon sprigs

Pat lamb shanks dry and season with salt and pepper. In an 8-quart
heavy flameproof casserole heat oil over moderately high heat until
hot but not smoking and brown lamb shanks well in batches, transferring
to a plate as browned. To casserole add onion, carrot, celery, and
garlic and saute until onion is softened. Add wine and simmer
mixture, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about
3 cups. Return lamb shanks to casserole and stir in broth, tomato
paste, and thyme. Bring liquid to a boil and simmer, covered,
stirring and turning lamb shanks occasionally, 1 1/2 hours. Simmer
mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 hour more, or until
lamb shanks are tender.

In a small bowl stir together gremolata ingredients.

In a saucepan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not
smoking and cook onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring, 2
or 3 minutes, or until softened. Add beans, 2 cups broth, butter,
and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally
and adding enough remaining broth to keep beans moist and to reach
a creamy consistency, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf and add
half of gremolata and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer lamb shanks to a plate and keep warm, covered with foil.
Strain braising liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, discarding
solids, and stir in butter and tarragon. Boil sauce, stirring
occasionally, until thickened slightly. Strain sauce through sieve
into a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sprinkle lamb shanks with remaining gremolata and serve with beans
and sauce.

Serves 4.


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