This delicious, wintry dish is great with polenta.
For the lamb shanks
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 small meaty lamb shanks (about 4 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of fat
salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, finely diced
3 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 imported bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups big-bodied young red wine
1 pound of parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
For the rosemary gremolata
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest
1 small garlic clove, minced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and cook, in batches if necessary, turning with tongs, until well browned, about 10 minutes each batch. Remove the lamb shanks with tongs to a plate and set aside.
2. Stir the onion, carrots, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic into the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until the onions are very soft, about 5 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of the wine and deglaze the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
3. Return the lamb shanks to the Dutch oven and braise the mixture, tightly covered, in the oven, turning the shanks once, for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the parsnips and the remaining 1/2 cup of the wine, and continue to braise, covered, in the oven for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. While the lamb shanks are braising, make the gremolata: Chop together the rosemary, orange zest, and garlic. Place each lamb shank on a serving plate, top with the vegetables, sprinkle with gremolata, and serve immediately.
This delicious, wintry dish is great with polenta. Serves 4