Mushroom Braised Lamb Shanks
- 8 lamb shanks
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- 1 French shallot finely diced
- 4 clove garlic
- 10 button mushrooms finely diced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups veal stock
- 2 tins whole peeled tomatoes 410 gram (14 oz) each
- 20 whole button mushrooms
- 3 bay leaves
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes
- pepper grinder
As most of my friends will tell you, I am a huge fan of summer and not big on winter. I tend to complain all winter about the lack of warmth and sunshine, to be honest I complain so much in winter I’m surprised I even have friends willing to put up with it.
Having said that there are a couple of things I do love about winter, there’s food, food and more food. One of my favourite ways of cooking in winter is braising (cooking meats or vegetables in their own or added juices in a very slow oven). This dish, Braised Lamb Shanks is such a magnificent winter dish that it on its own gives me the tolerance to cope with the entire winter season, (well almost).
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees (320 fahrenheit).
- Roll the lamb shanks in plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Brown the floured shanks in some butter and oil in a large pan, once brown transfer them to a deep oven dish.
- In medium saucepan on medium heat pour enough oil to cover the base and sauté onion, celery, French shallot, and garlic until translucent.
- Add the diced mushroom and sauté a further 5 minutes, turn the heat to high and add the wine.
- Continue cooking until virtually all the wine has disappeared and the mixture is a rich glossy red, add the stock, tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil and reduce to simmer.
- Clean the lamb shank pan and return to high heat, add a little butter and oil and sauté the remaining whole mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté until nicely browned.
- Place the sautéed mushrooms into the sauce, stir together add the bay leaves and pour the entire pot contents over the lamb shanks, cover with foil, pierce a few holes in the foil and bake in oven for 1.5 hrs, turn the shanks and bake a further 1.5 hrs.
- Check the shanks for tenderness (the meat should almost fall off the bone when you attempt to pick one up with a fork).
- Shanks may take slightly longer or less to reach this tenderness depending on the shanks age etc. If in doubt keep cooking them as it is pretty difficult to over cook them. Remove the dish from the oven, skim some of the fat off the sauce and discard.
- Serve with mash, bread or rice and a hearty hearty bottle of red, a Barossa Cabernet works wonderfully.
- Don’t forget to boast to your friends how you slaved all day over the stove to make this dish even though the oven did 3 hrs of the work.
- If you wish double the recipe as braised shanks make a great left over dish, so good you’ll want to eat them a few days in a row, avoid re-heating with the microwave.
- The best way to re-heat them is to let them almost return to room temp from the fridge and then warm them slowly in a pan or the oven with lots of the sauce.