Recipe: Shanks - Greek

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Lamb Braised with Tomatoes and Cinnamon (Kokkinisto)

Baseline for Stephatho receipe

Source: Notting Hill

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Greek

Prep Time: 1 Hr

Cook Time: 2 Hr

Total Time: 2 Hr 30 Min

Serves: 8


  • 6 pounds Lamb Shanks lamb shank, or a combination of the two, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Greek olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning the lamb
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • 1 pound #5 Greek macaroni such as Misko
  • 2 tablespoons Greek olive oil
  • 2 ounces aged myzithra cheese finely grated
  • 2 cups stock choice


  1. For the lamb:
  2. Generously season the lamb all over with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. In a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed 6-quart pot with a tightfitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook the lamb in three batches (so as not to crowd the pot) until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, and measured salt to the pot, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onion, and cook until the tomato paste is no longer raw-tasting, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomato sauce, 2 cups of the stock, and the bay leaves. Return the lamb pieces to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer over high heat, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  7. Using tongs, rotate the lamb pieces from the bottom of the pot to the top, cover, and simmer until the meat is falling off the bone, about 1-2 hours more.
  8. Transfer the lamb to a serving dish and cover with foil. Keep warm at room temperature or in a 200°F oven.
  9. Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Skim the fat from the surface (alternatively, you can use a fat separator) and discard; you should have about 4 cups of liquid remaining.
  10. Optional: Return sauce to pan and adjust seasoning with cinnamon, salt or other spices (coriander, clove, mace, etc.) to taste. Thicken to desired consistency.
  11. For the pasta:
  12. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir, and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
  13. Return the pot to high heat, add the oil, and heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes.
  14. Remove the pot from heat, add the cooked pasta, and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Toss the pasta with tongs.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the pasta, toss to coat, and serve with the lamb and sauce.

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