If winter means slow-cooked lamb shanks, bring it on!
Search out Leelands lamb – export-quality, sustainably farmed, traceable back to Bill and Sue French's Southland farm.
4 lamb shanks approx. 475g (1 lb) each 3 Tbsp standard flour 1 tsp salt or to taste 2 Tbsp olive oil 100g (3½ oz) rashers dry cured bacon, coarsely chopped 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 Tbsp peeled and chopped ginger Freshly grated nutmeg ½ tsp allspice ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 3 cloves 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary 1 large leek, trimmed and chopped into large rounds 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large rounds (leave whole if carrots are skinny) 3 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped 1 x 400g (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes 1 Tbsp tomato concentrate (UK purée) 1 Tbsp creamy style Dijonnaise mustard 1 cup full-bodied red wine 1½ cups chicken or lamb stock Bouquet garni (parsley stalks, sprigs of thyme, 2 bay leaves, tied together with string) *Search out Leelands lamb Topping Finely grated zest ½ orange 2 Tbsp chopped parsley 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped Few pinches of chilli flakes
1 Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Have oven rack set in lower third of oven. Trim excess fat off shanks. Mix flour and salt in a clean plastic bag, add one shank at a time and shake the bag until the shank is dusted with flour. Reserve remaining flour. Heat oil in a large heavy-based casserole over highish heat. Brown shanks in hot oil, then transfer to a plate. Turn heat to low and add bacon. Get it sizzling, then add onion, garlic and ginger. Cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, until onion is tender; stir from time to time and if the vegetables look like catching, add a splash of water.
2 Stir in nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Add rosemary, leek, carrots and celery and cook, covered with a lid, for a further 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Stir in reserved flour. Stir in tomatoes, tomato concentrate, mustard, red wine and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring. Add shanks and bouquet garni, get it bubbling again, then cover dish with a lid (the shanks will be a little bit ‘sticky-uppy’, but that’s fine.
3 Transfer casserole to oven and cook for 2 hours. Carefully turn shanks over, cover with lid and continue cooking for 1-1½ hours, until meat is falling off the bone. Remove casserole from oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. Scoop off fat from top.
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