Lamb shanks. Who doesn't love these? Okay, maybe people who don't eat lamb don't love them, but I think to most lamb eaters, shanks are a succulent treat that no one ever wants to make themselves since it takes an ungodly amount of time to do so. This is good weekend food, for those who have jobs. It's a great way to cook lamb during the week for those who work from home (in this list I include you SAHMs and such), students, etc. Be aware it takes a long time, even though most of that time is inactive, and plan accordingly. These are simply made but seem to be devoured quickly. This recipe is for two people, but easily scales up to accommodate more eaters. Hope you enjoy!
1 leek, halved lengthwise and washed, with root end trimmed
4 tiny beets, peeled
2 carrots, cut in half (or you could leave them whole if you prefer)
handful of garlic cloves
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (optional; I just happened to need to use this, so it went in the casserole dish)
8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 lamb shanks (for me, this was about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice blend
ground black pepper
1 tablespoon or so olive oil
1/2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/4 - 1/2 cup gin (or wine, or broth, or whatever)
Coat a small baking dish with the olive oil. Layer in veggies (excluding the pumpkin, if you're using it, and the tomato sauce), and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Stir together the pumpkin (if using), gin and tomato sauce, then pour it over the veggies. Rub the meat with pomegranate molasses, then coat with spices and liberally season with salt. Nestle the lamb in with the veggies and put in the oven. Turn the oven on to 350F and let it cook for 20 or 30 minutes, then cover the lamb and turn the oven down to 325F. Cook 3 hours, uncovering during the last 20 or so minutes of cooking. Serves two.