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Braised Lamb Shanks with Flageolets

(Shared recipe submitted by John Overholt.)

Bravo, John! I made this recipe and it is excellent. I did make some changes, mostly out of necessity. John lives near London, England, and can get products that are not readily available in my area of the United States. Although I have seen and tried flageolets, it is a rarity. You can view my variation of John's recipe, Lamb Shanks with White Beans, in the similar and related recipes. However, if you can get all the ingredients in John's list, by all means make the original.


Brown the lamb shanks in the oil in a heavy frying pan. Transfer to a heavy (iron?) casserole large enough to take the meat in one layer. Cook onion, carrot and celery in the same frying pan over low heat until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the vegetables to the meat and deglaze the frying pan with the wine, lamb stock and about 12 ounces of water. Add to the meat and vegetables. Add drained beans to the casserole. Add bouquet garni, rosemary and freshly milled pepper (NO salt). Cover casserole tightly and cook at 325° F for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the beans are cooked but NOT mushy. Add tomatoes, tomato puree and salt to taste. Cover and cook for a further 1.5 hours, occasionally stirring gently.

Remove 2 or 3 good sized ladlefuls of the bean and tomato mixture with plenty of liquid and whiz in your blender until smooth. Add this puree to the casserole and gently mix it in. Serve one lamb shank and a portion of the vegetables to each person. Sprinkle a good portion of freshly chopped parsley over each serving (actually gremolata might be nice).

Notes: If desired, use 1/2 flageolet and 1/2 borlotti beans. The mixture gives a nice colour contrast.

About John: John is a very good e-mail friend from England, which explains the British spellings and ingredients in his recipes. We have had many conversations about cooking and I am delighted that he decided to share some of the mouth-watering recipes he mentions in his correspondence. He is a great cook. I know he would appreciate hearing from you. His e-mail address is

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