Sunday, 27 January 2013

PRAISE YOUR LAMB AND BRAISE YOUR LAMB SHANKS – Braised Lamb Shanks with Red Wine




You may wonder why I have not as yet posted any lamb recipes. It’s not for the lack of eating lamb, after all I've gorged on more lamb here than I have in my entire life. I suppose that one simply takes for granted what is so easily at one’s disposal. But no more! Lamb deserves to be respected and elevated (NZ lamb burgers are a regular item on McDonald's and other fast food menus here, not exactly what I had in mind) into something special. After all, when you see these beautiful, bashful creatures, frolicking in the green pastures all around, you’d want nothing less than to respect the meat they are providing you with and to make the most of it. So here is one of my most frequently prepared lamb dishes: fall-off –the-bone braised lamb shanks.

Ingredients
(Serves 2)

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lamb shanks
1 medium onion (coarsely chopped) / 1 leek sliced
2 medium carrots (sliced)
1 celery stick (chopped) optional
½ bottle of red wine
A few sprigs of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary)
1 cup beef stock (homemade or good quality organic stock is best)
Splash of water
Dash of flour
Parsley for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 160 C/320 F
  • Heat up olive oil in a casserole pot
  • Season your lamb shanks with salt and pepper
  • Brown lamb shanks on all sides
  • Remove from pot and set aside
  • In the same pot add chopped vegetables and sweat them for a few minutes
  • Throw in your herbs
  • Add the lamb shanks back in, stir
  • Pour in the red wine making sure you scrape off the sticky bits from the bottom of the pot
  • Let simmer for 2 minutes so alcohol evaporates
  • Pour in your stock
  • Add a bit of water and bring to a simmer again
  • Cover with lid and pop into the over for 2 hours (turning the shanks over occasionally)
  • Remove lamb shanks and set aside somewhere warm
  • Strain out the vegetables and you are left with the remaining liquid
  • Reduce the liquid by at least half
  • Season to taste
  • Add a dash of flour to thicken the jus a bit, stirring continuously
  • Pour the jus over the lamb shanks and garnish with chopped parsley


Works well with roasted potatoes or simple couscous (tip: for extra flavour  use a boiling cup of mint tea instead of water). 

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