Sharing a delicious meal with your special someone is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or any day that’s special to you. These oven-roasted, za’atar-crusted lamb shanks are the perfect main course for those who have a little extra time on their hands. This recipe may seem difficult, but the only real obstacle is making sure you start cooking early. Once you get the lamb in the oven, it does most of the work with only a few check-ins.
We’ve included a recipe for roasted potatoes as a suggested side, which you can cook alongside the lamb shanks as they’re finishing up. If you’d like a wine to accompany your meal, or a red we’d recommend a Bordeaux or a Chianti. The Bordeaux Rouge from Chartron La Fleur, or Badia a Coltibuono’s Chianti Cetamura would both pair well with this meal. If you prefer white wine, Gai’a Wines’ Monograph Moschofilero would be an excellent choice. All these wines can be found in our wine section towards the back of the store, in addition to many other wonderful selections. No matter what you pair this recipe with, you’re sure to impress your date and enjoy a lovely meal.
2 lamb shanks, thawed
2 T oil of your choice (sunflower, olive, etc.)
2 T salt (or to taste)
6 T Za’atar (feel free to use more if you need to)
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup vegetable broth
For the potatoes:
1 yellow onion
1 bag of small golden potatoes
2 T oil (sunflower, olive, etc.)
1 T dried rosemary
1 T za’atar (if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 450°.
Peel your garlic cloves, but only the paper-like husk of the garlic. Leave the innermost peel on and set them aside.
Place your lamb shanks in a large oven-safe roasting pan. It should be deep enough that the lamb shanks are not peeking over the sides of your pan.
Add half your oil, garlic, salt and za’atar to your lamb shanks. Rub the seasonings on them evenly and flip them. Repeat on the opposite side. Make sure to cover every part of the shank with seasoning.
Roast the lamb shanks in the oven for 20 minutes uncovered, then take them out and turn the temperature down to 325°.
Being careful not to burn yourself on the hot pan, wrap your pan in several layers of aluminum foil. Make sure there is no way for air to enter the pan. I recommend 3-4 layers of foil to keep it well-insulated and cover all the sides.
Place it back in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
After 1 ½ hours have passed, get started on your potatoes.
Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cut your onion into large slices and lay them on the baking sheet. Cut your potatoes in half and add them to the baking tray.
Add your oil, rosemary, za’atar, salt, and pepper to the tray and shuffle all the ingredients until everything is well distributed.
Put your potatoes in the oven with your lamb. They will cook alongside it until everything is done.
After your lamb has been in the oven for 2 hours, remove it and leave the potatoes in the oven. Turn the oven temperature up to 400°.
Remove the foil from your roasting pan and pour in the vegetable broth. Set it in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
Once the 15 minutes is up, remove your lamb and allow it to cool a little before serving. If your potatoes look done to your liking, take them out of the oven as well. If you think they need a little more time, leave them in for another 5 minutes.
Plate your lamb and potatoes, pour a delightful beverage, and enjoy your meal.