I like your style Dave! Looks beautiful. I made this Lamb dish for mom:
Mixiote de Borrego en Mole Coloradito: Lamb Shank in an Oaxacan Red Mole Sauce
For the mole sauce:
6 plum tomatoes, roasted in a 375 degree oven until blackened
2 garlic cloves, roasted
Water, for consistency
3 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black peppercorns, toasted
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, toasted (Mexican preferred)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, toasted
8 ancho chiles
6 guajillo chiles
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 ounce Mexican chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
For the lamb shanks:
4 medium to large lamb foreshanks
1/4 cup canola oil, for searing
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
4 (12-inch) square banana leaves (available in the frozen section of Mexican markets)
To prepare the mole sauce: In a blender or food processor, blend tomatoes and garlic cloves, adding water if necessary. Strain and set aside. In a spice grinder pulverize the sesame seeds, peppercorns, oregano and cinnamon; set aside.
Make a lengthwise cut on 1 side of each ancho and guajillo chile and remove seeds. Put chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water, letting soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Place chiles and soaking water in a blender. Puree, strain and set aside. In a medium stockpot, heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the dried spices stirring continuously. Add the two purees and bring to a boil. Add the chocolate, sugar, and salt to taste; let simmer for about 20 minutes.
To prepare the lamb shanks: Season the lamb shanks with salt and in a hot skillet sear shanks in oil on all sides. In a bowl, dip each shank in mole sauce, sprinkle with some of the vinegar, chopped onion and salt, then wrap in a banana leaf and then in aluminum foil. Place shanks in a roasting pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Place shank on a plate and top with additional warm mole sauce.
One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.