Tom Valenti's Lamb Shanks

From his book, Welcome to my Kitchen

6 lamb shanks
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp Vera Jane's Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 cups mirepoix (about 1 lb) available in Produce (celery, carrots, and onions combined)
1/3 cup tomato paste
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
8 whole black peppercorns
3 anchovy fillets
1 whole head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 cups red wine
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325°F. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb shanks and brown well on all sides, using tongs to turn them. Remove shanks to a roasting pan. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Add mirepoix; cook until very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, anchovies, and garlic; cook 3 minutes.

Add the wines, vinegar, and sugar; raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, add the broths, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Pour this braising liquid over the lamb shanks. Cover with foil and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and cook 2½ to 3 hours more, turning shanks over every half-hour until the meat is very tender.

Remove the shanks from the braising liquid and strain the liquid. Skim any fat that rises to the surface, then use liquid as a sauce. (For a thicker sauce, cook skimmed sauce over medium heat until reduced to desired consistency). Serve lamb shanks in shallow bowls.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 846 calories; 49g total fat; 15g saturated fat; 244mg cholesterol; 940mg sodium; 11g total carbohydrates; 68g protein;

Allergy Warning: Contains fish