Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pasta With Lamb Shanks in Beer and Tomato Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks (about 5 pounds total), trimmed of fat
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 2 large carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup dark beer or ale
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried, crushed)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 pound thick pasta in a chunky shape

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook the shanks until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes in all. Brown in batches, if necessary, and move to a plate when finished. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the celery, carrots and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. In the slow cooker, make a bed of the vegetables and arrange the lamb on top.

Add the beer to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes with their liquid, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the lamb. Cover and cook on low until the lamb is fork-tender, 7 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. With a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the shanks to a shallow baking dish and keep warm in the oven while you cook the pasta and finish the sauce.

Strain the sauce, reserving the solids. Remove as much fat as possible from the sauce and pour sauce into a small saucepan. Stir in the carrots and celery and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, about 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta, and drain. Serve pasta topped with sauce and lamb.

4 servings; Hands on: 20 minutes; Total time: 8 hours

Thanks to Lufkin Daily News

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