Lamb Shanks braised in Tomato with Persian Spices

4 lamb shanks
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp Adwiya Spice blend (We love Teeny Tiny Spice Company)
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a large dutch oven heat 2-3 Tbsp of oil. Brown the lamb shanks on all sides in the hot oil and then place them on a tray to rest. In the same pot with a little more oil add the onion, carrot, and celery. Brown the veggies for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and spices. Cook for 30-60 seconds or until the Adwiya is fragrant. Add the tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove all the yummy brown bits. Add the shanks back in and the chicken stock. Add a few big pinches of salt and some ground pepper. Bring the mixture up to boil on the stove top, cover, and place the whole thing into the oven. Braise the shanks for 3-4 hours – the cooking time always depends on the meat (every shank is different)! Check them every 30 minutes starting at the 2 hour mark. Stick a fork into the meat and see if it peels away from the bone easily. When it is done it should come away with no effort, be tender and juicy. Taste it! Taste is your best tester – always.

Braised foods are best when they cool completely and rest overnight in the refrigerator. If you have time, do this! If not, no big deal. For refrigerated overnight slowly heat the shanks back up in the liquid over low heat. When everything is liquid again remove the shanks from the pot and set them aside. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid in a sauce pan. Return the pan to the stove and reduce the liquid by half. Season the liquid with salt and pepper to taste – this is now your sauce! Serve the lamb shanks over rice, potatoes, polenta, etc with the sauce poured over the top.

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