Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Sauce

Description:

Ingredients:

4 lamb shanks, around 1 lb / 500g each (Note 1)
2 tsp salt, separated
Pepper
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil, separated
1 cup onion, finely diced (brown, yellow or white)
1 cup carrot, finely diced (optional) (Note 2)
1 cup celery, finely diced (optional) (Note 2)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2½ cups red wine, full bodied (good value wine, not expensive! Note 3)
28 oz / 800g can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock (or water)
5 sprigs of thyme (preferably tied together), or 2 tsp dried thyme
2 dried bay leaves or 4 fresh

Sauce:
½ to 1½ cups hot water