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Sonoran Lamb Shanks

The painted desert of America's southwest will beckon with these meaty, fork-tender shanks of lamb braised in a chipotle, tomato, and beer sauce. You'll be licking your fingers for every last bite. Serve over smashed potatoes.


  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Corona or other beer
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle chile sauce (available at Hispanic Markets) or 1-2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers
  • 1 1/2 ounces Demi-Glace Gold®
  • 4 lamb shanks, blotted dry
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the beer, chipotle chile sauce, and Demi-Glace Gold®, stirring until the demi-glace is dissolved.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  2. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat.  Add the shanks to the pan and brown them on all sides, then remove them and set them aside.
  3. Add the onions to the large pan and sauté until they are golden brown.
  4. Pour the demi-glace mixture over onions, stirring to scrape all the browned bits from the pan. Add the tomatoes, cumin and chile powder.
  5. Return lamb shanks to the pan, ladling the sauce over them.  Cover and cook until the lamb is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven, skim off any surface fat, and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish each serving with chopped cilantro.

Additional Tips

Feel free to make this dish ahead of time--the shanks are even better reheated.

Wine Pairing: Australian Shiraz or French Bordeaux.

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Classic French Stocks and Sauces