BRAISED LAMB SHANKS with BARLEY

Ingredients:

4 lamb shanks
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 fennel bulb (chopped)
2 bay leaves
½ tsp dried thyme
1 pinch of nutmeg
¾ cup Zanon Zinfandel
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
¾ cup water
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. salt
¾ cup pearl barley
8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms

In a heavy skillet or Dutch oven, brown lamb shanks in hot olive oil. Remove shanks and set aside. Sauté onion, garlic, fennel, and spices in oil until onions are soft. At this point transfer the entire dish to the crock pot. Add salt, barley, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, wine, and mushrooms to shanks. Make sure all of the barley is immersed in liquid.

Cover and cook on “low” for 8 hours. Turn of heat and let dish rest uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Use a tablespoon to skim off any excess fat from the top. Remove the shanks and slice the meat (it practically falls off) from the bone. Remove any fat plus the bay leaves and discard. Add the boned meat back to the dish, combine and serve.