My good friend Tom Butcher's flavorful braised lamb shanks become the filling of this satisfying free-form lasagna. Pair with a hearty red wine, crusty bread, and green salad for a comforting winter meal. This lasagna is versatile and delicious made with wonton wrappers, fresh pasta, or layers of polenta, It actually tastes better the day after it is made, After shredding the lamb, cool meat and sauce to room temperature, Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container and simply reheat the following evening.
Sauce and Filling
Prepare Sauce and Filling
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over high heat.
3. Salt and pepper the lamb shanks generously. Sear the shanks on each side until well browned. Remove shanks from the pot.
4. Add onions to pot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add vermouth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
6. Add tomatoes. Return shanks to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover pot with foil, then place lid on top of foil.
7. Bake for 3 hours.
8. Remove lamb shanks from the sauce. With a fork, shred the meat and discard the bones. Return the shredded meat to the sauce. Remove and discard bay leaf and rosemary and thyme sprigs. (Sauce can be prepared one to two days in advance. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.)
9. Preheat oven to 200°F.
10. Place ovenproof plates in oven until ready to assembly lasagnas, for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove when ready to assemble.
11. Be sure that sauce and filling are hot. This will help to cook the pasta and make it tender.
Layer by Layer Assembly
12. Spoon sauce on plate. Top with a piece of pasta. Spoon sauce over pasta. Top with another layer of pasta. Continue to layer sauce, pasta, sauce, and pasta. Top with more sauce and shaved Parmesan.
13. Place assembled lasagnas in oven until serving, about 5 minutes.
This page created January 2009
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