In a large stock pot or braising pot, add the olive oil. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Season the flour with Essence. Dredge the lamb shanks in the seasoned flour, coating each side completely. When the oil is hot, sear the shanks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until very brown on all sides. Remove the shanks and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom and sides to loosen the browned particles. Add the potatoes and stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the lamb shanks and continue to cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting the shanks often, or until the sauce is stew-like and the meat starts to fall of the bone. Season with salt and pepper. The shanks can be served alone with crusty bread over blue cheese polenta.
Yield: 4 servings