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Slow-cooked 'Yanked' Lamb Pastitsio

Now many of you may balk at this recipe while some may rather enjoy it as I have for years. My father made this recipe when I was a young teen and it was my first taste of lamb. Technically not Pastitisio, for it probably should be called Lamb Flavored Spaghetti, but it does blend lamb and pasta none-the-less. Go ahead and try it, it is phenomenal.

Lamb shanks are used here because of their cost effectiveness. While up here in New England, the butchering season for lamb isn't until about the first of July through late fall, I can't get any lamb stew meat or trimmings that my father used. As for the lack of this spice and that herb, I simply love the taste of lamb without any masking of flavor what-so-ever.Simply, exploding with flavor and satisfying, you will love the richness of your own Yanked Pastitsio. I have made this dish using only the drippings from a roasted lamb as well, bringing the pan of lamb juice directly onto the burner and boiling my spaghetti in it. To me, as long as the pasta tastes like lamb, I don't care how it is cooked.

Ingredients

For 2 people

Recipe

  • 2 tablespoon(s) oil
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 1 teaspoon(s) minced garlic in oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounce(s) spaghetti
  • parmesan cheese
  • parsley for garnish, optional

Slow-cooked 'Yanked' Lamb Pastitsio Directions

  1. Have butcher cut shanks into 2-3 small pieces. In large pot, add the oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the cut shanks and cook, stirring frequently, until browned all over.
  2. Add the garlic, carrot and continue cooking and stirring another 3 minutes. Add 1 cup vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pot to lift up the fond. Add tomato puree and additional broth to cover lamb by 3 inches.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest heat available and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. You can also use a crock pot at this point as well, just make sure it is uncovered. You want the liquid to reduce by at least half or until it is dark and condensed.
    Remove from heat, skim the fat that has accumulated on top.
  4. Remove chunks of lamb and carrots*. Strain broth into another pot using a fine mesh sieve. This will be your lamb broth.
  5. Place back onto the burner, over low heat and add spaghetti. Sir and cook until spaghetti is to your desired doneness. Remove spaghetti to 2 plates and pour remainder lamb broth over each. Sprinkle cheese and parsley over the top and serve.
  6. * I saved the lamb meat and had a cold lamb sandwich with cucumber aoili the following day. Hey if I can make two meals out of one, why not? After all, I am a Yankee.
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