Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

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Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks
paired with Pine Ridge Vineyards Tessitura Red Wine
Serves 4

A blend of Bordeaux varieties, Tessitura has a silky texture that marries well with the velvety sauce that braising lamb produces. Served with Parmesan polenta, the dish has a rustic personality that fits a less-formal occasion, the perfect moment for Tessitura.

4 small whole lamb shanks
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped canned Italian plum tomatoes
2 small branches of rosemary, approximately 4 inches each
1 stick of cinnamon, 3 inches
Peel of 1 orange, peeled into large ribbons
2 to 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

Wipe the lamb shanks dry with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a casserole. Brown the shanks in the oil and set them aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook over moderate heat without burning until soft. Pour in the wine and deglaze the cooking juices over high heat.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, rosemary branches, cinnamon stick, orange zest, and lamb shanks to the casserole. Pour in enough chicken stock to barely cover them. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the lamb is tender, approximately 1½ hours.

Gently remove lamb shanks from the braising liquid and keep warm on a plate. Degrease the braising liquid from the lamb shanks and remove the rosemary branches, cinnamon stick, and orange peel. Reduce the sauce slightly. Add a splash of red wine and correct seasoning.

To serve, ladle Parmesan polenta into shallow bowls, add the lamb shanks, and spoon sauce over top.