Now this dish is not your traditional stew, it is actually more like a soup than it is a stew. But as my family love soups, I kind of thought they might like this. Well we actually all loved it.
You bake this stew rather than cook it on the stove top. Now I love this as I can pop it in the oven and simply forget about it while it cooks. It cooks just like a lamb soup that I make on the stove top and with similar ingredients, but what is different, is after the shanks are cooked and the meat is falling off the bone, you strain that stock and reduce it until it has a lovely intense flavour. My kids loved it, my daughter after eating her shank went at the sauce like it was a soup.
Now also, my lamb shanks were quite large, so I only needed 5 shanks for my 2kg, all the other ingredients remained the same. So look at the size of the shank and how many people you are cooking for. I actually only needed 5.
So if you are looking to make melt in the mouth lamb with a lovely soup like sauce, try this, it is perfect, especially when the weather is getting cooler.
2kg or 8 French trimmed lamb shanks
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large brown onions, chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 cups (500ml) dry white wine
3 medium carrots, quartered lengthways
3 trimmed celery stalks, chopped coarsely
4 fresh bay leaves
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon vegeta
1.75 litres (7 cups) reduced salt chicken stock
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Zest of 2 lemons
Mashed potatoes, to serve
Steamed Green Beans, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish; cook the shanks, in batches, until browned all over. Set aside.
Add onions to the same dish, sauté for about 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine; bring to boil and remove the dish from the heat.
Add the carrot and celery to the dish. Then put in all of the shanks. Add the bay leaves, thyme and vegeta and pour in all of the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover the dish tightly with a lid (or foil if the dish doesn't have a lid) and cook for 3-3.5 hours or until the meat is tender.
Ladle the liquid through a sieve from the dish into a medium sized saucepan, discard any solids. Put the lid back on the dish that has the meat in it and place back into the oven to keep it hot, the oven should be off or on really low. Now bring the pan juices to the boil, uncovered, and cook until reduced by half.
Combine the chopped parsley and lemon zest in bowl. This part is optional, I love it, so I do it, it gives a freshness to the dish.
To serve, place some mashed potato in a bowl, top with your lamb shank. Drizzle over your reduced sauce and sprinkle on the gremolata, if using. Green Beans work well as a side for colour and taste.
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