Lamb Shanks - Braised with Sweet Peppers
- 4 – 6 lamb shanks, about 1 pound each, trimmed of fat
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 TBS coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Season the lamb shanks generously all over with salt and pepper. In a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, warm two TBS of oil. When the oil is hot, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the shanks and sear, turning as needed, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, oregano, and cumin. Saute until the vegetables are golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour in the stock and wine and stir to dislodge any browned bits on the pan bottom. Transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker and stir in ½ tsp salt and several grinds of pepper. Place the shanks on top. Cover and cook on the low setting for 7 hours, basting once or twice with the braising liquid if possible. The meat should be very tender.
Carefully transfer the shanks to a platter. Cover to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid into a small saucepan, let stand for a few minutes. Skim away the fat with a large spoon. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced by about half, approximately 5 minutes.
In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 TBS oil. Add the bell peppers and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove the heat, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the shanks among warm individual plates and drizzle with the reduced braising liquid. Top each shank with a spoonful of peppers. Sprinkle the feta over the top and serve at once.