Braised Lamb Shanks

This hearty treatment also works well with lamb London broil or stew chunks. Serve over polenta.

Serves 4

4 lamb shanks (or 3 pounds other lamb cuts)
1 small onion, chopped to ½-inch dice
Handful Italian parsley
3 gloves garlic
1 stalk celery
1 medium carrot
½ cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 28-ounce can tomatoes (We prefer San Marzanos)

Chop onion into ½-inch dice. To make a sofrito, separately chop together the parsley, garlic, carrot, and celery.

Place lamb pieces in a sauté pan and brown over medium heat without oil. Turn to brown on all sides and render most of the fat. Remove lamb to a plate and pour off all but 2 or 3 tablespoons of fat.

Reheat fat in pan and add onion. Saute 2 minutes, or until soft. Add sofrito and sauté 2 more minutes, without burning the garlic. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. When the wine has reduced by half, add the beef stock and tomatoes. Stir to combine, add reserved lamb. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer 90 minutes, check for doneness. If necessary, continue cooking until lamb is tender. Before serving, skim fat from sauce.

After 70 minutes, make polenta. We suggest using coarse polenta. Serve lamb and sauce over the polenta.