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Lamb Shanks With Fennel

3 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 lamb shanks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 fennel bulbs, finely chopped
1 bottle dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 cups chicken stock

Set the oven at 350 degrees. On a plate, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the lamb shanks with flour, patting off any excess.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the lamb shanks and brown them, turning often, on all sides.

Remove the shanks from the pan. Wipe it out. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat it. Cook the onions and fennel over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Stir in the wine, scraping any bits from the bottom. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and stock. Bring to a boil.

Return the shanks to the pan, turn them in the liquid, and cover the pan. Transfer to the hot oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.

Remove the lamb from the pan and transfer it to a large bowl. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the pan and add them to the lamb. Cover tightly with foil.

Pour the cooking juices into another bowl and cover with foil. Refrigerate both for at least several hours or as long as 2 days.

Set the oven at 350 degrees.

Skim the fat from the cooking juices and pour them into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and let it bubble steadily until it reduces by almost half. Put the shanks and vegetables into a baking dish that holds them snugly. Add the sauce and cover with foil. Reheat the dish for 30 minutes or until the meat is heated through and the sauce is bubbling. Serve at once.

Serves 6

By Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

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