If there is lamb shank on the menu, my dad is guaranteed to order it, one of his favourites. And if there is one thing Norman knows how to cook, it’s lamb. My dad taught me to make little incisions in the meat and insert slivers of garlic and fresh rosemary to infuse flavour.
Cooked low and slow, lamb shank should fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. Served here with a chunky tomato stew for an easy side. The citrusy herby topping is like a gremolata used in Italian cuisine that adds freshness and flavour. So both Greekish, Italianish and Normanish!
4 lamb shanks
2 T pure olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 medium carrots, roughly chopped
4 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 bottle of good red wine
Chunky tomato stew:
1 T olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
2 sticks celery, large dice
2 medium carrots, large dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t sugar
1 tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
Citrusy minty topping:
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
2 T parsley, chopped
2 T mint, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Prepare the lamb shanks by making 6 tiny incisions into each one with a sharp knife to create tiny cavities. Push a slice of garlic and a few rosemary leaves into these incisions. Season the lamb shanks very well with sea salt and black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C. In a large enamelled cast-iron casserole dish, heat the olive oil. Brown the lamb shanks on all 3 sides over a high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the casserole. Pour in the red wine and boil for 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover the casserole tightly and transfer to the oven. Braise the lamb shanks, turning once, for 3 hours until tender.
- To make the chunky tomato stew, heat the olive oil in a pot. Add in the onion, celery and carrot. Place a circle of parchment paper on top of the veggies to trap the steam. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes before adding the tomato, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the butter beans for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Mix the citrusy herb topping together and set aside.
- Make a ‘bed’ of chunky tomato stew on each dinner plate. Arrange the lamb shanks on top. Drizzle over a little of the cooking liquid, but discard the cooking veggies, they have done their job. Garnish each lamb shank with the citrusy minty topping.
This is absolutely Delish ! …. thanks Norman