The sauce for this dish makes all the difference! It's somewhat exotic tasting, but quite exquisite by adding the sour, garlicy and salty seasoning at the end.
A simple polenta went along well with this dish.
for 2 people:
1 big lamb shank (or two smaller ones if you're hungry)
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground salt and pepper
a few twigs of fresh rosemary
1,5 cup (about 3,5 dl) beef or chicken stock
3.5 oz (about 1 dl) red wine vinegar
2 anchovies (instead, I just discovered anchovy paste in a tube at Bristol Farms)
2 cloves of garlic
optional: a few pearl onions, peeled
optional: butter lettuce salad for appetizer
1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
1 teaspoon dried or fresh herb such as thyme
1 tablespoon butter
Prepare the polenta according to the description on the package. Cornmeal bought in a package requires only very little time (a few minutes) to prepare as opposed to cooking polenta the real way with dried corn (about 45 minutes). While stirring the cornmeal mixture, add some herbs such as thyme. Place the finished mixed polenta on a board, form it into a firm square shape, spread some butter over it and let it cool out.
Season the lamb shank with freshly ground salt and pepper all around. Be generous with the pepper, but a bit careful not too use too much salt as we'll be adding some anchovy paste (very salty!) to the sauce at the end.
Prepare the beef or chicken stock.
In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the lamb together with the rosemary twigs all around until browned. If you like, put a few pearl onions next to your shank as well. Add a ladle of stock, cover the skillet with a lid and reduce the temperature to low. Check that the lamb just slightly simmers in the skillet. Every 15 minutes or so, add some more of the stock up to a total cooking time of about 2 hours. Flip the meat about half way through.
In the meantime, pound garlic and anchovies into a paste using a mortar. If you don't have a mortar (I highly recommend getting one though), you can chop the garlic very fine and mix with the anchovies. Pour this mixture into the red wine vinegar and mix everything well together. Put aside.
About 10 minutes before the lamb is ready, cut the polenta into slices and heat them up in the oven or in another skillet using a bit of olive oil or butter. Give the polenta a nice crispyness outside and it should have a slightly golden color.
When the lamb is ready, move it into a preheated plate or bowl. Pour the vinegar-garlic-anchovy sauce into the skillet where your lamb was sitting in, stir well over high heat and pour over the lamb. Serve immediately with the polenta slices.