Makes 6 servings
Hands-on-time: 30 minutes
Total preparation time: 1 1/2 hours
18 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 sweet onions, coarsely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
6 lamb shanks
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons roasted garlic puree
5 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Finely milled black pepper
1 pound orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fine herbs (dill, parsley, and mint)
Combine the garlic, celery, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and onions in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine and set aside.
Heat a large braising pan over medium high heat, add enough olive oil to coat bottom of pan with oil. Add the lamb shanks and brown well on all sides; remove to a sheet pan. Add the chopped vegetables to the drippings in the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pan.
Add the lamb, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic puree, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and desired amount of salt and pepper; add enough water to cover the lamb. Bring to boil, reduce to low and cover leaving lid slightly ajar so steam can escape. Simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender.
Remove 2 cups of the braising liquid to a small saucepan. Add the orzo and enough water to completely cover. Cook according to package instructions.
To serve, divide the orzo onto 6 dinner plates. Top each with a lamb shank and some of the vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle each with some fine herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.