Smokey Zinfandel Braised Lamb Shanks, Orzo Pilaf

Season with salt and pepper, then dust the shanks with flour. Brown in olive oil. Then add 6 slices of roughly chopped bacon, cooking for few minutes more. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 bottle of Zinfandel, then add red onions, chopped garlic, sprigs of rosemary and thyme, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 t. of allspice, and enough chicken stock to submerge half of the shanks. Bring to a boil then cover and cook in 325 degree oven for 2+ hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

I've always liked that phrase: "meat falling off the bone."

Remove the lamb from the pan, keep warm.

To make the smokey Zinfandel sauce, separate the cooking juices from the fat (using a fat separator), and then add the juices back to the pan. Bring to boil whisking in a little flour. Adjust seasoning. Drizzle over the lamb shank and orzo.

In the meantime, make the orzo pilaf. A couple minutes before the orzo is done cooking add chopped kalamata olives, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, currants, and pinenuts. When cooked, remove from heat and add the final ingredients - grated lemon zest, finely chopped mint, crumbled feta cheese and a splash of olive oil.

We began this special meal with delicious Shrimp Marinated in Olive Oil, Lemon Juice and Feta over Mixed Lettuces prepared by Father Adam.

Cheers! Wishing everyone joyous holiday meals with family and friends.

My beautiful and very photogenic new china is Mikasa "Silver Jewels."
Thank you :)