Mama Vil's Lamb Shanks
Today's recipe is brought to you courtesy of my Mum. As I have mentioned before, I doubt I would have the love for cooking and food that I do, if I hadn't been encouraged by my mother and grandmother and seeing their passion for food. As an adult, I now see and understand how much love she has always put into her food and despite how tired or busy she may be, she's always managed to ensure that our bellies were filled with delicious food.
Food for my family has always been not just about eating but about bringing the family together so when Mum purchased a bulk order of lamb shanks, it wasn't long before the whole family (all 11 of us) were gathered around the table to enjoy another delicious meal lovingly prepared by her talented hands.
These lamb shanks are so full of flavor and the garnish of fresh herbs and lemon zest adds an amazing freshness and another layer of deliciousness to these lamb shanks.
These shanks can be served with rice, pasta, polenta, chunks of crusty fresh bread, salad, roasted vegetables, potatoes and more which I love as it offers you a chance to enjoy something different every time!
The only real thing to check in this recipe is to ensure that you do cook the shank until it is soft and falling off the bone. This is the essential tip for creating the perfect lamb shank.
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rice bran oil
4 lamb shanks
1 large brown onion, cut into small-medium dice
2 slices of streaky bacon (rind removed), finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 + 1/2 cups passata
Ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped continental parsley
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Season the flour with chili powder/chili flakes and salt, coat the lamb with and shake off any excess flour .
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and brown the shanks in it for a 5 minutes or so, turning them frequently.
Transfer the shanks from the pan into a baking dish and set aside.
Add the onion, bacon and garlic to your frying pan (the juices remaining add flavor so don't clean it) and cook for approximately 5-7 minute or until the onion turns soft and translucent, do not allow to brown. Spread this mixture over the lamb shanks .
Next, pour the stock, the wine and then the passata over the shanks. Sprinkle some ground black pepper and salt on top and cover with foil or a glass cover.
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F and place the baking dish with the shanks into it. Cook for 1 hour. Then take the dish out of the oven and turn the shanks over. Turn oven down to 180°C/375°F and place dish back in the oven, uncovered, and cook for another 1.5 to 2 hours or until very tender and the lamb appears to be falling off the bone. (This can a few hours if you are using very large shanks or less time if they are smaller. Check periodically until when you gently touch the meat close to the at the bone, it wants it wants to fall off.)
Mix the parsley, lemon rind, garlic oil and salt together in a small dish mix and sprinkle over the prepared shanks.
Serve with a vegetable of your choice, mashed potato, pasta, rice, or crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.
MAKES 4 LAMB SHANKS