This recipe came about one Sunday afternoon last year on a cold winter’s day having arrived home from a day at our market. We felt like something filling and warming for dinner. I just made it up from produce I’d bought from our stallholders during the weekend – lamb shanks from Jamie, chorizo from Salash, leeks and celery from Sally. My New Zealand version of a French cassoulet.
- Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 good size lamb shanks
- 1 finely chopped large onion
- 2 leeks cut in the half lengthwise and finely sliced
- 2 diced celery stalks
- 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 large medium spicey chorizo sausage – sliced
- 150ml red or white wine
- 100ml water
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes in juice
- 1 tin of white cannellini beans
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 2cms piece of cubed bacon or speck (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs – 2-3 bay leaves and sprigs of thyme, rosemary and parsley
Dust the lamb shanks in flour and brown in a little oil in a flameproof casserole. Remove once browned on all sides
Add the onion, leeks and celery to the dish and cook gently till soft. Add a little more oil if it seems too dry.
Add the garlic and slices of chorizo. Cook for another minute.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Cover with a piece of baking paper, put on the lid and cook slowly at 160◦C for 2-3 hours. The time will depend on the size of the shanks. Check after 1½ hours and add more water or stock if it’s starting to dry out.
Check the seasoning.
To serve sprinkle with finely chopped parsley or if you want to make it like a cassoulet sprinkle with coarse breadcrumbs and grill till golden.
All you need with this is a simple salad or green vegetable.