And we had lamb again for Sunday dinner, though in a very different style than at Easter. This has been the winter of meat shank recipes, and this is yet another.
3 lbs. lamb shanks (beef shanks would do, but veal would be too mild)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
(2) 14-1/2 oz. cans of Italian-style stewed tomatoes (with garlic, basil, oregano; regular would do)
1 cup red wine
10 oz. pkg. of fresh spinach
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. each of basil and oregano if using regular stewed tomatoes
You need a heavy oven- & burner-proof casserole or dutch oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut meat off the bone in large chunks. You don't have to be precise about it and keep the bones, too. This is just to make it easier to serve. Season meat and meaty bones with salt & pepper. In the casserole on top of the stove over medium-high heat, sear the meat & bones in the olive oil till browned. Remove meat & bones, lower heat, and saute the garlic for a couple of minutes. Put back the meat and bones and stir in the crushed tomatoes, the stewed tomatoes, and the wine. Cover, put in the oven, and cook for 3 hours. Meanwhile, wash the spinach and tear into pieces, removing the large stems. At the end of the three hours, add the spinach and the extra spices to the casserole and stir well. Cook for another 45 to 60 minutes. Serve over egg noodles with garlic bread on the side. Or sprinkle with a gremolata of crushed garlic, chopped parsley and grated lemon peel, and serve over risotto or couscous.