I know that it will soon be Spring and warming up slightly but last weekend it was still freezing and this is the perfect excuse for a slow cooked Sunday lunch. The meat in this dish falls from the bone and lands in the sweetest, syrup of a sauce that has all the body of the red wine that has been poured in to it. Pair with buttered shallots, fresh rosemary, polenta and spinach and you have a meal that I know my family will be eating for many years to come. Easy, fresh, tasty and a doddle to make. My twenty month old twins loved every mouthful and they are my harshest critics.
40g butter – unsalted
300g shallots – peeled
15g fresh rosemary
4 lamb shanks
4 tablespoons plain flour
salt & pepper to season
150ml balsamic vinegar
500ml red wine
60ml tomato puree
3tblsp caster sugar
You’ll need a heavy bottomed casserole with a lid
Heat the oven to 150°c
Melt 20g of the butter slowly in the casserole, add the whole, peeled, shallots and soften for 15 minutes. Add the rosemary and the other 20g of butter. Stir together while the butter melts. In a bowl add the flour, salt, pepper and the lamb shanks. Coat the lamb shanks in the flour mixture. Remove the rosemary and the shallots from the casserole and place on to a spare plate. Raise the heat under the casserole and place the coated lamb shanks in to the casserole and seal them, turning several times until each side has browned slightly. Turn the heat back down to low, put the shallots and rosemary back in to the pot and add the balsamic vinegar, red wine and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, replace the lid and place in to the middle of the pre-heated oven.
After 1 hour and fifty minutes take the casserole out of the oven and add 3 tbsp of sugar to the pot. Cook in the oven, with the lid on, for a further forty minutes.
After this time, remove from the oven, place the lamb shanks on to a separate plate but keep warm, and place the casserole back on the hob to reduce and thicken the sauce. You do this by turning the heat up high and continually stirring the sauce. Do this for ten minutes and taste the sauce as you go, you’ll notice it thicken and sweeten. Place the lamb back in to the pot for two minutes to replace any lost heat and serve with polenta or mashed potatoes and steamed spinach.
It has warmed up a wee bit this last week so I’m glad I got this recipe in before it was way too late. But It’s still cold enough for this lovely dish, I promise.
Do let me know how you get on with this dish if you cook it. Either here or on my Facebook page. Links below. And if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
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