It is not that I hate ham...It is just that, for Easter, ham seems dull to me...It doesn't help that I really don't like scalloped potatoes so this meal is definitely not getting served with that Easter tradition either ;)
SLOW COOKED LAMB SHANKS WITH RED WINE SAUCE
4 lamb shanks, around 1 lb
1 cup diced onion (yellow or white)
1 cup diced carrots (optional)
1 cup diced celery (optional)
2 tsp salt, separated
Pepper to taste
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil, separated
3 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2½ cups red wine (I use white wine due to allergies, I may try pomegranate juice next)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock (or water)
5 sprigs of thyme (preferably tied together), or 2 tsp dried thyme
2 dried bay leaves
2 tsp of tarragon or a few fresh leaves torn in thirds
½ to 1½ cups hot water
Preheat the oven to 350F
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the lamb shanks
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot (Dutch oven) over high heat.
Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
Remove lamb and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
Turn the heat down to medium low, add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and then add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté for roughly 10 minutes until the onion is translucent.
Turn up the heat to medium high and add the red wine. Be sure to stir-up the good bits on the bottom of the pan as the alcohol evaporates in about 3 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ingredients (including 1 tsp salt and pepper)
Put the lamb shanks back in and try to submerge them as well as possible.
Once it is simmering again, cover, and transfer to the oven for 2 hours
Turn the lamb shanks, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be reduced down to about ¼ of the original amount.
Finally plate the lamb, pull out the thyme sprigs and then skim excess fat off the surface of the sauce. You can add hot water to thin the sauce if you desire.
Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and enjoy!