BRAISED LAMB SHANKS inspired by and adapted from Darryl’s Corner Bar in Boston
Easy to prepare with a strong molasses flavor yet superbly sophisticated and unforgettably delicious, while the braising of the lamb shanks mellows out the complex flavors and will win you many praises at the dinner table!

4-6 large lamb shanks or shoulder
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 shallots, THINLY sliced
2 large carrots, FINELY diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup dry red wine
1 cup HOMEMADE or QUALITY beef broth

2 cups HOMEMADE or QUALITY chicken broth plus more as needed to keep lamb shanks immersed
1 LARGE sprig FRESH rosemary
6 sprigs FRESH thyme
3 FRESH bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground Porcini mushrooms** (OPTIONAL)
8 ounce can plain tomato sauce
1/3 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
1 packed heaping tablespoon brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and trim-color pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
zest of one LARGE orange, plus juice
1/4 cup chopped FRESH parsley
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced

  • Tie the rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaves together with some twine OR place in a cheesecloth bag. The cheesecloth bag is my favorite way to make it easy to fish out at the end.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Season lamb shanks with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a cast iron Dutch oven or heavy oven-proof pot. I like to use my enameled cast iron crock pot
  • Generously brown the lamb shanks on all sides and transfer to a plate. 
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Saute the onions, shallots, carrots, celery and garlic until softened, 6-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the ground Porcini mushrooms if using.
  • Add the red wine and orange juice, bring to a boil, and de-glaze pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the butter and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil.
  • Return meat to pan.
  • Cover with the lid and place the hot pot on the lowest rack in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the meat is very tender, turning the lamb shanks over halfway through. 
  • Remove the cover during the last 30 minutes of cooking until the lamb shanks are nicely browned on top. 
  • Remove the herbs and bay leaves.
  • Skim from surface of cooking liquid.
  • Bring braising liquid to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  • Return lamb to pan; cook for 2 minutes.

  • Transfer the lamb shanks to a plate tented with foil and place in the warm oven with the oven door open. 
  • Place the pot on the stove top.  If needed use a slotted spoon to remove any herb sprigs/leaves.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and stir in 2 tablespoons of butter. 
  • Simmer until thickened. 
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes with some gravy spooned over top.


  • **STRONGLY recommended for the BEST flavor (use a spice/coffee grinder, blender, or pound to grind them in a ziplock bag)
  • Alternatively, to speed up the thickening time, you can dissolve 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water and then stir the slurry into the gravy.  Bring it to a simmer and stir for a couple of minutes until thickened.


FARM STYLE MEATLOAF is a recipe I adapted from Kevin Penner’s 1770 House Meatloaf recipe after watching an episode of Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa.  I debated on what to name this dish after my changes.  I flip flopped between Greenhouse and Farm style before finally landing on farm style.  All of the different meats and FRESH herbs and vegetables influenced my final decision for naming it Farm Style.  Honestly, I may yet rename it as I think more.

It is similar, yet completely different from my normal meatloaf recipe that I’ve been using for eons!  We instantly fell in love with the earthiness of this meatloaf and the savory herb sauce was perfect with mashed potatoes too!   Hubby normally loves ketchup or BBQ sauce with meatloaf, but with this flavorful sauce he bypassed it completely!

The key to this recipe is using QUALITY ingredients! Preferably grass fed meats and very FRESH organic ingredients.

1/3 pound ground veal or lamb
1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH chives
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH Italian parsley
1 LARGE egg
scant 1/2 cup finely ground Panko crumbs
scant 1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Avocado oil
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 LARGE shallot, finely diced

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko crumbs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and film it with avocado oil.
  • Add the celery and shallot to the pan, stirring, until softened.
  • Remove the celery and shallot from the pan and let cool.
  • When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
  • Using gloved hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed.
  • Place a LARGE piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
  • Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets shaping the meat into a loaf about 6 inches long x 2 inches high.
  • Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat cooked through (155-160°).
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

2/3 cup chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon Marsala wine
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

  • Combine the broth, Marsala wine, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened.
  • Add the chopped thyme, chives and parsley.
  • Quickly whisk in the cornstarch if needed to thicken as necessary.
  • Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can use a loaf pan if you prefer, but we like the firm crispy edges produced using this method.


Recipe adapted from “One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond” by Valerie Bertinelli

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sweet mini red peppers
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (I have also used a shallot or a shallot and part of a red onion)
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons dry mustard
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal size pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚.
  • Chop the carrot, celery and onion into like size pieces.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Combine the garlic, bay leaf, carrot, celery, onion in the oil and cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Push the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan and add the lamb.
  • Increase the heat to high and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
  • Sprinkle with the mustard, 1 teaspoon of the salt and some pepper, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste, fennel seeds and tomato puree and stirring again to blend.
  • Cook for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and stir in the mint and sage.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add the potatoes to a saucepan and cover by 2 inches of salted water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until a knife releases easily from the potatoes when pierced in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the potatoes.
  • In the same pot, combine the milk, butter, and 1/3 cup of the cooking water and stir together over high heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Work the potatoes through a ricer, then slowly drizzle the hot liquid over the potatoes and stir until light and fluffy.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the lamb mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch deep-dish pie plate, spreading it evenly over the bottom.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top, covering completely. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to create a swirled pattern in the potatoes.
  • Bake until the topping turns golden, about 30 minutes.