Lamb Stew with Artichokes

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This is another use of the lamb shanks as cooked in the previous recipe. I use the shanks for braising and stewing because their gelatinous quality prevents them from drying out. Serve this stew over hot polenta.

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks, cut from the foreleg
  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 quart chicken, lamb, veal, or beef stock
  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • 20 very small artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ pound shiitake, wild, or domestic mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup tomato concasse
  • 12 leaves fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Cook the lamb shanks as directed in the previous recipe. Strain the stock after it has reduced and cook the peeled garlic in it until tender. Strain and reserve the stock and the garlic separately.

While the lamb is cooking, remove any brown or damaged outer surface from the fennel bulbs. Cut each bulb lengthwise in half. Cut out the roots and divide each half into 4 pieces.

Trim the artichokes down to the hearts. Cook 10 minutes in salted boiling water into which you have squeezed the lemon. Drain the artichokes.

Put the artichokes and fennel in the reserved stock and cook for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, bone the shanks and cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

Add the lamb, mushrooms, tomato, and sage leaves to the artichokes and fennel. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the butter until it is incorporated. Taste for seasoning and serve.

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