⅛teaspooncoarse ground black pepper, more to taste
1¼cupsfinely diced carrots(about 2 medium carrots)
1½cupsfinely diced celery(about 2 stalks)
1cupfinely diced yellow onion(about 1 medium onion)
1cupfinely diced red bell pepper(1 red bell pepper)
¼teaspoonred pepper flakes, more to taste
1can(14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
1cupdry red wine
1½cupsreduced-sodium beef stock, more if needed
Fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley to garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat lamb shanks dry with paper towel and season shanks on all sides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven (lamb shanks should be able to fit in one layer). Carefully place the lamb shanks in the oil and sear until brown on all sides, 7-8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Add carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt to Dutch oven and cook until onion becomes translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, and spices (paprika, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes). Continue to cook for one minute, breaking up tomato paste.
Add diced tomatoes, wine, and molasses. Bring to simmer and return the lamb shanks to the pan. Add beef stock (use more or less as needed to cover the lamb shanks about half to three quarters of the way). Cover pan and move to preheated oven.
Cook for one hour, remove from oven and check the level of the liquid. If necessary add more beef stock. Flip the lamb shanks over so that the portion that was out of the liquid is now submerged. Return to oven, covered, and continue to cook for another hour.
If desired, skim off any fat/oil that has come to the surface of the pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve lamb shanks with sauce and vegetables with couscous, rice, or quinoa, garnished with fresh parsley.
Serving size: One lamb shank typically serves one person but it's a pretty generously sized portion. If desired, remove meat from shank before serving and divide into 2 portions for each shank.
Slow Cooker Method: Brown the shanks and make the sauce on the stovetop, as directed. Once you've completed that, transfer everything to your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. The sauce may be a little juicier.
Stovetop Method: As long as you have a good heavy pan with a tight fitting lid, you can braise lamb shanks on the stove. Make them as directed but leave them on the burner on low heat for a couple of hours. Check every half hour to turn the shanks over and to make sure there's plenty of liquid.