Strategic cooking that began three days ago: since, after making the shrimp scampi pizza, I knew I still has one half of one pizza dough in the fridge, and because I also knew that the following day, I wanted to use the ovens retained heat to braise lamb shanks, using residual heat (no flame and oven door shut) to serve the following night for Jon’s welcome home dinner, making pizza (which requires intense heat) helped. Here is the process: marinate lamb shanks in full bottle of red wine- overnight in the fridge.). I used a Barolo-(bought the same bottle to drink with the lamb tonight!) with the wine, in the marinade, are chopped onions, celery, carrots, thyme and rosemary. (Turn shanks once while marinating). The next day, reconstitute some dried porcinis- set aside in hot liquid. take shanks out of marinade (reserve this) and pat dry. Season with salt-pepper and brown severely in thin layer of olive oil. Take shanks out of pan and dump out hot fat. Add to pan 1stick butter or mix olive oil and butter- add to fat, chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots, mushrooms -sauté until liquid evaporates. Add a couple of tablespoons tomato paste- stir and cook till mixture starts to grab the bottom of the pan-stir in a few tablespoons flour and cook a couple of minutes-stirring- add all of marinade with veg and herbs, lamb stock (use chicken stock as sub) and porcini liquid. Bring to full bubble. Season with salt and pepper. Chop porcinis and add now. Add browned shanks to simmering sauce (meat should be just covered) and simmer till very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (3 hours on my wood oven). Remove from oven. Allow to cool and remove fat. Reheat now or refrigerate-I code the latter. More to come.

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