It’s hard to find anything more comforting in this cold weather than slow-cooked lamb shanks. I always love lots of garlic with lamb – there’s plenty in here. This dish is particularly easy as the browning of the shanks and vegetables happens by roasting them on a high heat before you turn the oven down to start the slow cooking process. I served the shanks on a mashed potato and kale cake but plain mash would be great too.
Ingredients (for 4)
4 lamb shanks
2-3 medium onions, peeled, root end left on, halved and each half cut into 3 wedges
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
3-5 whole heads of garlic
Sprigs of rosemary, thyme and parsley
2 bay leaves
1 cup white wine
1½-2 cups of chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Rub a little olive oil on the shanks and season well. Place the vegetables, herbs and heads of garlic in a casserole dish and splash with olive oil and toss to coat everything. Place the shanks on top.
Put in a hot oven (240°C) for about 45 minutes. Turn the shanks over after 25 minutes. If the lamb and vegetables are browning too quickly turn down the oven a little and add a little water to the dish.
Once the lamb and veges are nicely browned, remove the dish and turn down the oven to 160°C. Add the wine and 1½ cups of stock to the casserole, cover with baking paper and a lid or foil.
Cook for about 2 hours turning the lamb once or twice. Add more stock if necessary. It’s ready when the lamb is falling off the bone. Squeeze all the soft flesh out of the heads of garlic and mix in with the juices.
I served these on a potato and kale cake – I boiled 3 peeled and cubed large potatoes until nearly soft and then added finely chopped kale (stripped from the stems). I cooked these for another minute or two and then drained everything. I tipped these into a large bowl and added a teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika, salt and pepper and olive oil. I mashed the potato roughly with a fork. Then I added a softened finely chopped onion which I’d cooked in a small pan with olive oil, chopped bacon and 3 cloves of crushed garlic. I prepared this while the lamb was cooking. Then, when the lamb was ready, I made four patties from the mix and panfried each side in a little oil till brown.