Lentils provide an earthy base for lamb shanks, with a
wonderfully full flavor and richness of their own.
Cook Time: At least 2 hours
1 pound dried lentils, rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 sprigs thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 bottle dry red wine
4 lamb shanks
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first seven ingredients in a roasting pan
or casserole and stir; bring to a boil on top of stove, then nestle lamb shanks
among lentils, cover pan (aluminum foil will do) and put in oven. Lower heat
to 350 degrees and let cook, undisturbed, for about an hour.
Uncover and stir lentils gently; season with salt and pepper. Re-cover and cook
about an hour more, until lentils are very tender and meat begins to pull away
from bone. (Do not worry about overcooking lentils; just make sure lamb is
done.) When lamb is tender, uncover pan, raise heat to 400 degrees, and cook
for another 15 minutes or so, just to brown top of shanks a bit. Taste, adjust
seasoning and serve.