Lamb Shanks Braised with Tomato

Adapted from this recipe from Cooking light
Serves 4

Ingredients:
-Cooking spray
-2 (12-ounce) lamb shanks
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-3/4 cup port
-1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I highy recommend Muir Glen)
-1 teaspoon italian seasoning (I used Penzeys Italian Herb Mix)
-1/2 cup caramelized onions
-12-16 ounces mushrooms (I used a mix of portabellas, which I chopped, and mixed wild mushrooms)
-1/2 ounce dark or unsweetened chocolate
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
-4 cups cooked pasta (I used Al Dente Wild Mushroom Fettucini)

Method:

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook lamb for 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan.

Add garlic to the pan and saute 15 seconds. Add port and cook two minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, and caramelized onions; cook two minutes. Return lamb to the pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer one hour. Turn lamb over and simmer 30 minutes. Add mushrooms to the pan and simmer an additional 30 minutes ,or until meat is done and very tender. Place lamb on a plate and cover loosely with foil.

Skim fat from the surface of the sauce. Stir in chocolate. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Return lamb to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lamb is thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley and serve over pasta.

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