Lamb Osso Bucco

I could have sworn I posted this recipe already, but I guess not. You have probably heard of, if not tasted, this dish made with veal, as is typical in Italian restaurants. However, the dish is even more delectable made with lamb, more flavorful, as well as less expensive. You can find the lamb osso bucco (cross-wise slices of lamb shank) at Costco. One package usually contains about 5-6 slices and each slice makes about one serving.

I first discovered this dish when I did an Internet search for Lamb Osso Bucco recipes. I ended up trying a slightly more complicated recipe involving more vegetables, herbs, and red wine, which tasted just fine. But when I saw a photograph of a much simpler dish in Timothy Ferriss' newest book, The Four Hour Chef,  I knew there must be a better way. His dish contains fewer ingredients, and is even more delicious and succulent when completed. I think you will love it! (Just to be clear, the recipe below is my own version. I think it is pretty close to Ferriss' but I took that cookbook back to the library, so I am winging it here.)

Lamb Osso Bucco

1 package of lamb osso bucco (5-6 slices of lamb shank)
1 can (14 oz.) diced (or whole) tomatoes (I use diced but Ferriss uses whole.)
One bunch carrots, cut into large chunks (I use baby carrots, about 12-15.)
1-2 TB olive oil or grapeseed oil (I just got some grapeseed oil at Trader Joe's so I used that.)
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, smashed
plenty of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325F. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the lamb well on both sides. Remove lamb pieces when well browned (about 8 minutes) and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. (I think a bit more salt is best here.) Then pour about a half cup of water (you could use red wine here) into the pot. Scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. (BTW: Tim Ferriss skips this whole procedure and just throws all his ingredients into the pot and chucks it into the oven! He also cooks at 350F which I think is a tad too high.)

Return lamb to pot and pour the tomatoes, with their juice, over the lamb. Tuck the carrots, bay leaves, and garlic cloves in and around the lamb pieces. Sprinkle more salt and pepper over the whole thing. Cover the pot tightly. Place in the oven and set your timer for 3 hours. The lamb will be cooked through before this time, but the longer cooking creates an extremely succulent, soft, falling-off-the-bone texture. YUM!

Serve with a green salad, a Greek salad topped with feta, a slice of my eggplant terrine, or your own favorite accompaniment. Makes about 5 servings. ENJOY!