Sassy Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks have long been a very favorite dish. I like them made with a Southwestern/Mexican accent styled after the preparation that the Middle Eastern chefs have long made popular. The dish features a rich, yummy tomato-based sauce flavored with lots of garlic, Mexican oregano, bay, chipotle, and red wine. They are braised to a golden brown and then allowed to simmer cozily covered until the meat delightfully falls off, fork-tender. Serve with tiny bit-size pasta.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 lamb shanks
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 cup red wine
Place olive oil in a 5-quart heavy, well-seasoned pot over highest heat. As soon as the oil is hot, add the lamb shanks and braise to a golden brown on all sides. When well browned, turn heat to the lowest and add the tomatoes, garlic, onion, bay leaves, chipotle powder, and red wine; cover and allow to simmer until very tender and falling off the bone. This usually requires 2 to 3 hours of slow simmering.
Check the shanks every 30 minutes or so to make sure they have not cooked dry, adding water as necessary. Serve with tiny, Middle Eastern-style pasta.
Makes 4 servings.
Be sure to pick up Jane Butel's Simply Southwestern for more sassy recipes!