Cordero en Chilindròn (Lamb Braised with Bell Peppers and Tomatoes)

Chilindròn sauce for braised lamb or chicken, from Aragon in northeast Spain, combines sweet red peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and a little serrano ham. These richly flavored lamb shanks (or cubed shoulder) are made at least a day ahead at your convenience, perfect for feeding a crowd.

Olive oil
8 lamb shanks (or 5 pounds lamb shoulder trimmed and cut in 1-inch cubes)
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery rib, chopped
3 tablespoons minced serrano ham (optional)
1 28-ounce can Marzano plum tomatoes, tomatoes skinned and roughly quartered
4 red or yellow sweet bell peppers, roasted, seeded, skinned and cut in strips
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh parsley plus ½ cup more, chopped, to finish
About 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Film the bottom of your largest pot with olive oil and brown the lamb shanks, three or so at a time, turning to color all
sides. Put them in a large bowl as they are done. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of fat and sauté the onion, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring. Add the serrano ham, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and return the shanks to the pot. Add the stock, wine and enough additional stock or water to reach the top layer of shanks. Cover and simmer slowly for 2–3 hours. After an hour, turn the top shanks. Simmer until the meat is tender and falling off the bone (if in doubt,

Cool with the top off, then cover and chill overnight. Lift off and discard the solidified top layer of fat. Remove the bones from the shanks, leaving themeat in chunks. Pull off any connective tissue and fat. Strain and reduce the liquid if necessary.

Discard the bay leaf and herb stems.

To serve, gently reheat the lamb and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and stir in ½ cup chopped fresh parsley.

Makes 10–12 servings.