Succulent, mouthwatering, and pastoral, lamb is a quintessential Italian springtime favorite. Exclusively fed from the nourishing grass-enriched milk of their mothers, abbacchio from Abruzzo is the most treasured lamb to serve during Easter, one of Italy’s most celebrated holidays. For millennia, shepherds have grazed their sheep along the verdant hills and mountain sides of central Italy. Grazing on wild grasses, flowers, and shrubs, these sheep are renowned for their distinctive, milder flavor and lean yet tender meat. Designated with a protected geographical indication (IGP), lamb from central Italy celebrates the flavors and practices of shepherding communities that have roamed the land for thousands of years.
Slowly braised so to fall-off-the-bone, this rich and luscious braised lamb shank can be served over polenta, with roasted potatoes, or alongside your favorite grilled spring vegetables. Serve with a bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
BRAISED LAMB HOCK
▢ 4 lamb shanks
▢ 2 tbsp Heritage Blend Olive Oil
▢ 2 carrots
▢ 2 celery ribs
▢ 1 white onion
▢ 4 cloves garlic
▢ 1 tbsp Organic Oregano Flowers
▢ 1 tbsp Nepitella
▢ 2 cups Barolo wine
▢ 2 cups chicken stock
▢ 2 tbsp tomato paste
▢ 1 28 oz can tomatoes
▢ Wild Foraged Fennel Pollen to serve
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
- Make your soffritto by finely mincing the onion, carrot and celery. Set aside.
- Place a large heavy bottomed pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Sear the lamb shanks until browned all the way around, and remove onto a plate.
- Add the soffritto to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, roughly 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, Oregano Flowers and Nepitella and sauté until the tomato paste begins to darken, roughly 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook down until the alcohol has evaporated.
- Add the can of tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a low simmer, add the shanks, and cover.
- Cook for 2-3 hours, until the meat easily pulls from the bone with a fork.
- Heat your oven to 300°F.
- Remove the shanks from heat and place onto a sheet pan. Place the pan in the oven for 7-10 minutes.
- Reduce the sauce until it becomes nice and thick.
- Remove the lamb from the oven, and serve coated with the reduced sauce.