Did your father ever tell you that when “he was a kid, he walked 10 miles to school everyday, barefoot, in the snow”? My dad did, and I believed him for years. He was from Minnesota; they had snow there. We lived in LA—palm trees, no snow. How was I to know? We grew up with hearty soups, even though in Los Angeles there was maybe one month a year when it really made sense to eat them.
The trick to delicious lamb shanks is to brown the shanks first.
Are you familiar with Basque cooking? Basque Country is a region bordering Spain and France at the Western end of the Pyrenees mountains. Basque descendants and communities can be found all over California and Nevada.