Braised lamb shanks* with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and finely diced hot pickled red tabasco chile peppers. This is really special when served with garbanzo bean patties or sliced polenta browned in a little butter.
4 lamb shanks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cans (15-17.5 size) whole tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
2 or 3 hot pickled tabasco chile peppers*, finely diced
2 medium white onions, quartered
1/2 tspn basil
1/2 tspn oregano
1/2 tspn thyme
3 bay leaves
4 tbspn olive oil
Salt and pepper to season flour
Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees
Add salt and pepper to flour and mix. Place lamb shanks in flour and coat all sides. Heat olive oil in large ovenproof pan or skillet and add lamb. Brown on all sides until shanks start to caramelize. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
Place in oven and for approximately 2 hours or until lamb is falling-off-the bone-tender. Remove from oven when done and let lamb rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serve with hot brown rice and cooked spinach. Good served with fresh whole kernel corn cut from the cob and lima beans with tomatoes. Also good with garbanzo bean patties* or store-bought polenta, sliced one inch thick and sauteed in butter until a light golden brown. Good to serve with hopping John on New Years day.
*Braised lamb or veal shanks is often seen as Osso Buco (or ossobuco) on restaurant menus. It is usually pricey and is often served with polenta. At one time both were probably considered peasant food because the shank is a tougher cut of meat with much bone (braising tenderizes tougher cuts of meat) and polenta is simply corn meal cooked slowly with a liquid until it turns to mush.
*Mash cooked garbanzo beans and mix with slightly cooked chopped onions, parsley and sauteed crushed garlic. Form into patties and broil on a nonstick baking sheet until brown on one side, turn and finish broiling.
*Jars of hot pickled tabasco chile peppers can be found in the ethnic aisle of your supermarket or in the condiments section. Once in a while you may see a tabasco chile pepper plant with peppers ready for picking. You can grow these from seeds, but check in the house plant section also.