This recipe, from Cooks.com, which can be doubled, is similar to the classic veal osso buco. Small lamb shanks won’t do, get the largest, meatiest ones you can find (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds each).
Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley an tend to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for insect inspection instructions.
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 large lamb shanks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces thinly sliced kosher breakfast beef, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 3x1/2-inch strips lemon peel
2 small bay leaves
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl combine the salt, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fennel seeds, pepper and coriander. Mix well and rub all over the lamb. Let stand 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large ovenproof roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and sauté until brown, turning with tongs, about 12 minutes; transfer to plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add the breakfast beef and stir 1 minute. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in garlic; cook 1 minute. Mix in lemon peel strips, bay leaves, and thyme. Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes and broth. Return lamb to pot. Bring to boil; cover and transfer pot to oven.
Cook lamb until just tender, turning occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove pot from oven. Tilt pot and spoon off fat that rises to top of sauce. Place pot over medium heat and boil uncovered until sauce reduces enough to coat spoon and lamb is very tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard lemon peel and bay leaves. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool 30 minutes, chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before continuing.)
Just before serving combine the 3 tablespoons of parsley, grated lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Transfer lamb to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the topping and serve.
Insect Inspection of Herbs
Fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme (as well as the following herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano and sage) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Note regarding parsley:
Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used. Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.