When you’re introduced to new people, do you start chattering immediately, or does it take you time to warm-up and get comfortable? It always surprises me when Lon starts talking to random people outside, a guy waiting on line in front of us, the check-out clerk at Bed Bath & Beyond, or the couple standing in front of the restaurant we just walked out of. Though my friends and family can’t shut me up, I’m cautious around strangers. I just need to melt the ice a little.

Lamb Sauce on Egg Fetuccine 2

Whether you’re right up there with Lon, or even more reserved than me, you might want to tred lightly when introducing someone new to lamb. Lamb has a distinct flavor that some love and some hate, but it can be strong and shocking for a first timer. When I made this red sauce with lamb, my immediate thoughts were: This lamb sauce (on pasta) is a great introduction for a lamb virgin. Everyone loves pasta with red sauces. Tomato is familiar, being a childhood favorite for most, and pasta is like getting into your comfy old PJ’s. The lamb meat is braised until it falls apart and the shreds of meat just add a nice alternative flavor to your standard beef meat sauce. Please don’t forget the star anise here. I think it makes worlds of a difference and rounds out the flavor and aroma so perfectly.

Lamb Sauce on Egg Fetuccine

This is also a great recipe for your first time cooking lamb. While lamb chops need to be cooked perfectly medium rare, the shanks are braised until the meat is so tender and comes right off the bone. The timing and technique doesn’t need to be exact and it’s really hard to mess up.

Lamb Sauce
~10 servings

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 lamb shanks (1 lb each)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sweet sherry
  • 1 (35 oz) can peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 star anise
  • pasta to serve

Instructions -

1. Heat oil in a large pot and brown shanks on all sides. Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.

2. Add onions and celery to the pot, to soften. Stir around for a few minutes. Stir in sherry, until it evaporates. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, and star anise. Bring to a boil. Return lamb to the pot, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove lamb to a plate and pull off meat. Shred with a fork and return lamb meat to the pot.

meat pulled off lamb shanks 2

4. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until thickened to desired consistency. Serve with pasta of choice. ( Here, it is served with Egg Fettuccine.)

Lamb Sauce on Egg Fetuccine 3

Store left-overs in an airtight container in the fridge. Re-heat sauce on the stove-top or microwave for quick and easy meals all week long.

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