Another in the ‘teaching Frances to cook’ series – this time slow cooked lamb shanks with only 10 mins preparation. Late one recent afternoon we were rushing to go out knowing that we wouldn’t be home till about 8pm, hungry and tired. I hadn’t made any dinner plans so this quickly prepared meal was a result of using what was in the fridge and on the pantry shelves. Luckily during the weekend I had bought some organic lamb shanks at our market from Jamie of Te Kainga Meats. The only vegetable we had were leeks. The pantry was pretty lean but we did have tins of chopped tomatoes and white beans, tomato paste, garlic, stock and half a bottle of red wine. Our herb garden always has plenty of parsley, thyme and a bay tree.
Brown the shanks in a little oil in a casserole dish eg Le Crueset.
While they are browning halve 2 leeks lengthwise and slice finely.
Turn the shanks over and add the leeks so they soften at the same time as the other side of the shanks is browning.
Then add 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic, the tomatoes, beans, wine, a little tomato paste, sprigs of thyme, 3-4 bay leaves and parsley.
If you have any pancetta or speck add that also.
Pour in enough stock to cover the shanks.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook at 150C for 3-4 hours.
If it starts to dry out add more stock.
To serve, sprinkle with a little finely chopped parsley.
All you need with this is a green vegetable or salad.