My only amendment to this recipe was the addition of the Guinness. The hard cider I used (Wood Chuck Amber) left me with a sauce that was a bit sweeter than I like and there seemed to be a depth of flavor missing that I wanted. Two bottles of Guinness later (into the pot not into me) I had what I wanted---Autumnal comfort food. Heaven on a plate. Really really dynamite! You will have to check the sauce and see if the Guinness would be right for your tastes. I also added copious amounts of black pepper. Again, your call.
Recipe: Hard Cider/Guinness-Braised Veal Shanks With Apple and Shallot
Adapted From EatingWell: September/October 2009
Serve these succulent braised lamb shanks dressed in a savory apple-shallot sauce for a special fall supper. The shank, a tougher cut of meat from the top of the leg, becomes fall-off-the-bone tender after simmering in hard cider. Don’t skimp on the shallots: peeling 12 of them takes some time, but they are the base for the rich sauce. Serve over mashed rutabaga or potatoes.Ingredients
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
(I think I added at least a teaspoon more, maybe even 2)
4 12-ounce lamb shanks (about 3 lbs), trimmed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 whole shallots, peeled, root end trimmed but left intact
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 12-ounce bottles hard apple cider
1-2 bottles of Guinness Stout, optional and to taste
1 sprig fresh rosemary, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped, divided
3 firm tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Ida Red or Cortland, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1.Rub salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper onto lamb shanks. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge the lamb in the flour to lightly coat on all sides. Tap off any excess flour.
2.Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the lamb shanks and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
3.Add shallots and garlic to the pan; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Carefully pour in hard cider (it may splatter); bring to a boil. Add rosemary sprig.
4.Return the lamb and any accumulated juices to the pan. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and simmer, checking every 45 minutes to make sure the meat side of the shank is mostly submerged in the cooking liquid, until the lamb is fork- tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours total.
5.Transfer the lamb to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
6.Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes. (This is the point at which you should taste and decide whether or not to add the Guinness). Stir in apples and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender (but not falling apart), 10 to 15 minutes more. Return the lamb to the pan, turn to coat with sauce and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig. Serve the lamb with the sauce.