Lamb Shank ‘Sausage’ Rolls with Saffron Aioli

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These are a riff on the lamb shank baklava served at Bar Reyna, in Yorkville. If you get there for a visit, order them! They are spectacular! In fact, we regularly make a meal out of their baklava and chicken tacos alone.


My version is a bit simpler and make ahead – so perfect for entertaining.

Lamb Shank ‘Sausage’ Rolls with Saffron Aioli

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 4 lamb shanks, total of 2 lbs
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (1/2 lb)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Soak the raisins in the apple juice and set aside. Rub the shanks with salt and pepper and rub with 2 Tbsp olive oil and roast for 20 minutes until browned.

In the meantime, in a dutch oven, heat what is left of the oil and cook the onions, garlic, chili flakes over medium heat until translucent. Add the paprika, bay leaves, tomato paste, rosemary, vinegar and broth. Cook until reduced by about half. Using an emulsion blender, blitz until smooth.

Bury the roasted shanks in the puree and reduce the oven temperature to 275°F. Cover the dutch oven and braise in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is tender and very soft.

Pull the meat off the bones and shred finely. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of mustard and 2 tablespoons of the braising liquid. Stir through and adjust the salt and pepper. Divide the filling in two and place each in the center of two 18-inch long pieces of cellophane. Spread the filling into an 11-inch long roll and wrap with the plastic help hold its shape. Repeat with the rest of the filling and the other piece of cellophane. Place both rolls on a baking tray and freeze for 30 minutes.

Roll the puff pastry to form a 12-inch square. Cut in half forming two rectangles. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of mustard over the puff pastry. Unwrap the filling and lay the ‘sausage’ on the pastry wrapping it suggly. Place the roll seam side down on the a baking tray and repeat. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Place each of the rolls onto a cutting board. With a sharp knife, trim the ends of each of roll and cut each roll into 12 equal portions.

At this point, the rolls can be kept frozen for a month if sealed in a freezer bag.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Bake on a parchment lined baking tray for 15 -18 minutes or until nicely browned.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  •  Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced finely
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup shelled and salted pistachios, chopped, for garnishing

Warm the honey in a saucepan until runny. Remove from heat and sprinkle over the saffron. Allow to steep and pour into the mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice, garlic and season with salt. Make the aioli up to a day in advance – it gets better with age.

Place the sausage rolls on a serving platter, top with a dollop of aioli and sprinkle pistachios.

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