Braised Lamb Shanks (Moira)

 

Braised Lamb Shanks

You will land any girl with this melt-in-the-mouth lamb on a cold, wintery Sunday afternoon or evening. Simple to prepare and cook – just bring a nice bottle of red to the table to go with it.

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Ingredients

For two people, use the measures below.

  • 2 lean lamb shanks
  • 1 large carrot
  • A good large glass of red wine
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 large tomatoes (chopped into quarters)
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • About 1 pint of beef (or chicken) stock – use a stock cube and boiling water is fine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A squirt of tomato puree (about a tablespoon)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to your own preference
  • A couple of sprigs of rosemary

 

How To Cook It

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F  (150 degrees C). Cover the bottom of a heavy casserole pot (with a lid) with olive oil – about 4 tablespoons.
Dice your carrots, celery, onion & garlic (I like to do them quite chunky) – then ‘fry’ (sauté) slowly at a medium heat in the casserole pot  for 10-15 minutes.  Add the tomatoes towards the end along with the sugar and the tomato puree. Give it a good stir and add the wine. Keep it on a medium heat and cook until the level of the liquid reduces by about half. Stir occasionally as it reduces so nothing sticks to the bottom.
Generously salt & pepper your lamb shanks (rub it in) and add the meat to the cooking vegetables and wine when it has reduced. Some people like to brown the outside of the shanks in a frying pan before they add them in (and you are welcome to do this but I find if you turn the shanks every 20-30 minutes or so once they are in the oven, they brown anyway).

Add your bay leaves and stock, bring up to ‘bubbling’ but not boiling furiously. Turn it off.
Put the lid on and place in oven for about 3 hours, turning the shanks every20-30 minutes or so until the meat is so tender it wants to fall off the bone.

How To Serve It

Lift out the lamb shanks and place each one on a plate. Ladle over a tablespoon of the juice and add a sprig of rosemary over the top of the shank (or alongside it). Keep it simple on nice white plates ideally.

Skim off any fat on top of the wine juices and throw away. Spoon the vegetables etc. out of the juice and into a bowl. – one of those big spoons with holes in chaps – we don’t want the vegetables swimming in juice once they’re in the bowl! Put some of the juice in a gravy jug so that she can put on as much or as little as she wants. If it’s to your taste, you can thicken up the juice with a little gravy powder in a small saucepan on a low heat (or blend in a little cornflour mixed with cold water if you want to do it properly).

You can do potatoes as well if you want (mash or roast are nice with this) but this is a filling enough meal with just the vegetables.

 

Variations

You can make this with white wine too. I would say use beef stock with red wine and chicken stock with white wine. If you don’t like wine in food – not everyone likes to drink until they get arrested – just substitute it with a tin of chopped tomatoes instead and reduce it as if you were using the wine.

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Enjoy!

Moira


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