Lamb Shank, White Bean and Parsnip Ragout

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
4 Ontario lamb shanks
1 tsp (5 mL) each coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 cups (750 mL) diced onions
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced carrots
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
2 rosemary sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced capers
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
1 can (540 mL) white beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups (1.5 L) peeled and cubed parsnips

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add lamb shanks, season with half the salt and pepper and sear on all sides. With tongs, transfer to a plate; set aside. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, thyme and capers; cook one minute.

Add red wine while scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add chicken stock and stir. Return the lamb shanks and nestle them into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a simmer, cover and braise in the oven until meat is very tender and falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove from oven.

With tongs, remove shanks from the pot and transfer to large platter; let cool slightly and with a fork, pull all the meat from the bones. Transfer the meat back into the pot. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Stir in beans and parsnips. Cover and simmer over medium heat, until parsnips are tender, about 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chef Tim D’Souza, The Idlewyld Inn.