Even though it’s not that cold in Los Angeles right now, I’m always craving stews and soups (and finding any excuse to wear scarves and boots). My husband has created several delicious dishes with lamb but a stew felt perfect for the season.
Lamb shanks (4)
Russet potatoes (2)
Yellow onion (half)
Black Kalamata olives
Peeled plum tomatoes (2 cans)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fine sea salt
1 ) Marinade the lamb with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag. Let it sit for a few hours.
2 ) Transfer the lamb shanks to an oven pan.
3 ) Sprinkle chopped rosemary on top of the lamb. Broil both sides, turning to make sure it bakes evenly.
4 ) Add 3 tablespoons of peeled plum tomato and half cup of white wine. Set aside the rest of the plum tomatoes for later use.
5 ) Seal pan with aluminum foil and bake at 450 degrees for 40 minutes.
6 ) Meanwhile, start the red sauce. In a large pot, saute chopped onions with olive oil. Deglaze with white wine. Add minced garlic and one crushed Italian peperoncino.
7 ) Add in the two cans of peeled plum tomatoes. Add one tablespoon of sugar. Simmer for one hour.
8 ) Take lamb out of the oven and cut meat off the bone. This doesn’t have to be perfect because you will transfer the cut meat and the bones into the pot of red sauce.
9 ) Transfer meat and bones into the pot of red sauce. Add some red wine and black olives. Cover and simmer for half an hour.
10 ) Chop potatoes and add to the pot. Cook for another 30 minutes on low heat, or until potatoes are soft and done.
11 ) Turn off flame but keep the pot lidded.
This should be ready to eat in an hour.
Although it takes time to cook, the overall preparation time is approximately one hour. Plus, you can walk away and do other things while the stew is simmering. This was really worth the effort. Even if you are not a fan of lamb, you might change your mind after this dish. Because of the spices and stewing, it’s less “gamey” than usual yet still has a unique tender flavor.
With the extra sauce, we made lamb over polenta. Recipe to come later….