In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the onions until transparent, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the onions with the lamb, garlic, and saffron. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.
Place the lamb and onion mixture in a large pot. Add the wine and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sauté the celery until tender, about 5 minutes; add the celery to the lamb mixture and toss well. Chop the reserved celery tops and combine with the mint and parsley. Add this mixture to the shanks and cook until tender and the sauce is thick.
Fifteen minutes before serving, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the meat is tender.
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© 1998 Ronald Florence Last modified: Sat Nov 8 17:11:50 EST 1997