This recipe came with my Martha Stewart Brand Dutch oven, and I naively thought that the prep time would be easy. Little did I know that it would take me 45 minutes to trim the meat off of 4 lamb shanks. If you've never done this before, see my rag-tag instructions below. Find your sharpest knife and pretend you are a surgeon.
Once everything is in the oven, curl up with someone you love and watch a movie while your house fills with the most delicious aroma.
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons apricot jam
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 strips orange zest
3/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 1/2 pounds lamb shanks, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, scrubbed well and halved (or quartered, if large)
1/ Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In 5.5 Quart Casserole Pot, stir together tomatoes and puree, tomato paste, jam, garlic, orange zest, rosemary, ginger, cinnamon and 2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Add lamb and potatoes, stirring to combine.
2/ Transfer to oven; cook until lamb and potatoes are tender, about 2-2 1/2 hours. Season again with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve.
How to Trim Lamb Shanks:
1/ Locate a think slivery piece of connective tissue on the shank (called a fell). With your fingers, pull this tissue back until completely separated from the shank and cut it off.
2/ Hold the narrow, bone end of the lamb vertically with the fat-side down, facing away from you. Place the knife directly against the bone at the top of the shank and point the blade edge inward touching the bone.
3/ Slide downward and inward, separating as much meat and fat from the bone as possible.
4/ Continue to work your way around the bottom of the shank, trimming meat completely away (this is not easy; just find your inner butcher and go for it!)
I saved the bones and boiled them in a stock to make lentil soup. I will post once it's done!!