By Cara Nakata
Lamb shanks, very flavorful, and the easiest meal ever! Shanks are one of the tastiest cuts of meat make this a most satisfying meal. A long, slow braise in a crock pot makes this a hearty meal after a long day outside hiking in the snow, skiing or golfing in early spring. Serve on top of couscous, rice, mashed potatoes or polenta alongside a hunk of crusty bread to sop up the juices.
½ c. onion, diced into ½” pieces
½ c. celery, diced into ½” pieces
4-8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 lamb or mutton shanks, about 3 ½ pounds total weight
1 c. olives, pitted and very roughly chopped (a variety is nice, firm green salty and sour)
1 sprig rosemary, about 4-6” long
½ t. oregano, dried and crumbled
1 t. honey
28 ounces tomatoes, diced, with juices
½ c. red wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ c. parsley, chopped
2 T. pesto
Into a crockpot, place half the onion, celery and garlic. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Place the lamb shanks on top of the vegetable “bed”. Sprinkle the remainder of the onion, celery and garlic on the meat, then add the olives, rosemary and oregano. Drizzle in the honey. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Pour the tomatoes over all, and rinse the can with the wine and pour on top of the tomatoes.
Cook for 6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low, until the meat and connective tissues are tender and falling away from the bone. Stir and taste the liquid for salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley.
In a large, shallow bowl, place a lamb shank and a ladle of vegetables. Spoon in your starchy side and top with a dollop of pesto.