Italian Lamb Shank with Polenta

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The flavours in this recipe are reminiscent of the classic Italian dish osso buco (but I use lamb shanks instead of veal).

Lamb shanks are amazing, but even better they are usually cheap, if you can’t find lamb shank, this recipe will work with lamb shoulder, pork shank (or shoulder) or even veal shank (or shoulder). All these cuts of meat are reasonably priced and lend themselves to long slow braising.

Lamb:

2 lamb shanks, trimmed
pinch salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 onions, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, fine chopped
200ml red wine
2 tins chopped Italian tomatoes
100ml homemade lamb, pork, veal stock (depending on the meat used)
chopped fresh rosemary
For the Polenta:
150ml homemade (or good-quality shop bought) chicken broth
chopped fresh rosemary
150g quick-cook polenta
freshly grated Parmesan, to taste

(1). Preheat oven to 220C/Gm 8.

(2).  For the  lamb,  heat a large, wide pan over medium-high heat then season the lamb.

(3). Add lamb, and cook for 12 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove lamb from pan.

(4). Add onion, carrot, and celery to pan then cook for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic, cook for a  minute then add the red wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, then return the lamb to pan; add the tomatoes, stock, and a little chopped rosemary. Bring to a boil.

(5). Cover the pan with a lid and  place in oven. Leave there to cook for at least  2 hours or until lamb is tender. Remove lamb from pan, set aside to rest.

(6). For the polenta, bring the chicken stock, 1 teaspoon rosemary to a boil in a large saucepan.

(7). Gradually add polenta, in a  steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese and rosemary.

(8).  Spoon polenta immediately in centre of plate, sit lamb on top drizzle with the sauce.

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