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The lamb shanks: Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Heat the oil in a large stockpot on medium heat and saute the onions, celery and carrots for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until the mixture becomes deep brown - about 3 minutes. Add the lamb shanks and wine, making sure to scrape up any pan residues and mix them in well. Add water until the liquid is level with the top of the lamb shanks. Gently nestle in the rosemary until it is completely buried, cover and bake for 2 hours or until the meat slips easily off the bone. The polenta: In a large saucepan bring the water to a rapid boil and stir in the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream. Do not allow the water to stop boiling. When all the cornmeal has been added, sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Stir constantly, scraping the sides and bottom of the saucepan until the polenta becomes a thick porridge-like texture that pulls cleanly from the side of the pan and a spoon will stand up in it. This takes about 25 minutes for the large-grain cornmeal and 5 minutes for the fine-grain variety. Lower the heat if the mixture starts to stick. Add the lemon and mix well. Brush light oil over two dinner plates. Pour on the polenta, smoothing out to make two circles, one 1 inch smaller than the other. Leave to cool until set - 1 hour at room temperature or 30 minutes in the fridge. Transfer the cooked lamb from the pot onto a large plate and trim off any fat. Gently pry the meat off the bone so that you end up with pieces mostly still in their original muscle shapes and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid into a fat separator, discarding the vegetables. You should have 2 and a half cups of liquid. Add wine or stock to come up to this level if you dont have enough. To make the mushroom sauce pour the liquid from the fat separator into a medium saucepan leaving the surface fat at the bottom of the separator. Add the mushrooms and gently warm through on medium heat for 5 minutes. Just before serving pour the slurry into the sauce and stir over medium heat to thicken for 2 minutes. To serve: Slip the smaller polenta circle from the plate onto a large oval platter. Place the meat in the centre and cover with three Swiss chard and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining polenta circle to make a "sandwich". When ready to serve bake at 350F (150C) for 30 minutes. The top can be browned slightly by brushing with a teaspoon of oil and slipping under the broiler for about 5 minutes. continued in part 2
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