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Cozy Lamb and Lentils with Gremolata


    Cozy Lamb and Lentils with Gremolata

    This delicious fall supper is a meal in a dish. It’s a spin-off from the traditional Italian osso buco version, but we’ve scaled it up using farm-fresh lamb shanks. Served with long-simmering diced veggies and some lovely Puy lentils, it’s an instant crowd pleaser. Bonus: as a cut of meat, lamb shanks are less expensive and boast oodles of healthy collagen. Cooked low and slow, the meat literally falls away from the bone in tender chunks.


    Cozy Lamb and Lentils with Gremolata


    • 6 lamb shanks, about 11 oz (312 g) each (see tip)
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 celery stalks, peeled and finely diced
    • 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
    • 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
    • 1 cup (250 mL) water
    • 28 oz (796 mL) can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
    • 3 generous sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced fresh rosemary
    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) dry Puy lentils, rinsed and drained
    • Zest from 2 lemons
    • Zest from 1 orange
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely minced fresh parsley
    • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and finely minced


    Per serving:

    • calories473
    • protein43g
    • fat13g
      • saturated fat4g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates41g
      • sugars7g
      • fibre8g
    • sodium547mg



    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Season lamb shanks all over with salt and pepper. In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil. Add shanks, a couple at a time, and cook over medium heat until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer.

    Add carrots, celery, onion, and 2 garlic cloves to fat remaining in saucepan. Sauté over medium-low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and ladle over lamb shanks.

    Add wine to saucepan and boil vigorously until reduced to 1/2 cup (125 mL). Stir in water, chopped tomatoes, thyme sprigs, and rosemary. Pour over vegetables and lamb shanks.

    Cover roasting pan tightly and bake in centre of preheated oven for 1 hour.

    After 1 hour, turn shanks over, stir in lentils, making sure they are submerged in pan juices. Cover and continue to bake for an additional hour, or until lamb is tender and almost falling off the bone Add a little extra hot water halfway through baking if mixture appears a little dry.

    Meanwhile, in small bowl, make gremolata by combining lemon and orange zest, parsley, and minced garlic. Toss with fork to blend. Cover and set aside.

    When lamb and lentils are tender, remove thyme stalks. Add more seasonings to taste, if you wish. Ladle lamb and lentils into shallow serving bowls and serve with a sprinkling of gremolata. This dish is equally delicious refrigerated and served reheated the next day. Serve with rustic crusty bread for dipping.


    • If you’re having trouble finding Puy lentils, substitute with 1 cup (250 mL) split green lentils. Simply soak for a couple of hours, rinse, and thoroughly drain before stirring into lamb dish and baking.
    • Looking for an alternative to lamb? Organic, free range, skinned, bone-in chicken pieces are equally delicious in this meal-in-a-dish.

    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the Delicious Recipes for Ethical Meats collection.



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