1. Heat oven to 350ø. Sprinkle shanks with salt. Heat oil in large, nonreactive saut, pan over medium-high heat. Add shanks to pan in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Saut, until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, transfer shanks to a plate as they brown.
2. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan; add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of herbes de Provence, and a light sprinkling of salt; saut, vegetables to soften slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add red wine, then chicken stock to pan, stirring with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits from bottom. Bring liquid to simmer; transfer vegetables and liquid into deep braising pan large enough to hold shanks in a single layer. Add shanks, season with salt, pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence.
3. Cover pan (with foil if pan has no lid) and transfer it to the oven; braise shanks for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and continue braising until shank tops are browned, about 30 minutes. Turn shanks and braise until other side is browned and shanks are fall-off-the-bone tender.
4. Remove pan from oven; let shanks rest for at least 15 minutes. With tongs, carefully transfer a shank to each of 6 plates. Arrange a portion of vegetables around each shank. Skim excess fat from braising liquid and adjust seasoning. Spoon braising liquid over each shank and serve.
each dried thyme, rosemary and marjoram. If you're using smaller lamb shanks than the ones in this recipe, reduce the cooking time to 1 hour.
Variation for Braised lamb Shanks with Lemon and Mint: Make the following changes: to the braising liquid add 1 lemon, quartered with zest removed, minced and set aside. Substitute 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves for the herbs de Provence and substitute dry white wine for the dry red wine. After skimming excess fat from the braising liquid, stir in lemon zest and 1 additional tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves.
Variation for Braised Lamb Shanks with North African Spices: Make the following changes: Substitute 2 tablespoons ras al hanout for herbes de Provence. Add 2 ancho chili peppers (or 2 to 3 jalape¤os), stemmed, seeded and minced, to the saut, ing vegetables.