Brisbane's winter chill is slowly setting in which means we're searching for delicious, decadent slow cooked recipes to fill our stomachs!
A warm meal that simmers away on a Sunday afternoon has become a staple of any Aussie home. Almost as quintessential as the smell of sauteeing onions and garlic, the smell of red wine and crushed tomatoes marrying with beef or lamb screams winter to us.
We've put together our easiest, most delicious lamb shank recipe passed down through our butcher shops for decades. The best part about it is - this is virtually impossible to overcook!
You want your lamb to be falling off the bone, and while we recommend a cook time of two hours in the recipe below - an hour or two extra will only help your flavours infuse even more and make your lamb just that touch more tender.
1) As we'll be using a stick blender to create a puree from the vegetables we're adding - there's no need to spend time finely dicing them. We recommend a rough chop for the onions, carrots and celery. But if you prefer to dice - go ahead!
2) Frying off your tomato paste adds an extra level of flavour to the sauce! Ensuring it contacts with the heat for a brief minute directly will add something special to your dish.
3) Count the sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves you add, as you will want to remove this before finishing your sauce - if you have little ones, as these are very hard to break down with a blender - it's all the more important to get them out.
4) There's no need to heavily trim your lamb shanks! Lamb shanks come in varying sizes with varying levels of fat on them. Just remove the hard fat and leave the rest to break down into the dish and add flavour.
Decadent Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks
4 Lamb Shanks (around 300g each)
1 Tsp Salt Flakes
1 Tsp Smoked Pepper
500ML Beef Stock
3 Garlic Cloves - Minced
1 Brown Onion - Diced
1 Cup Carrot - Chopped
1 Onion - Diced
1 Cup Celery - Chopped
3 Sprigs Rosemary
3 Bay Leaves
1-2 Cups Red Wine (Depending on your taste)
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 500g Can Crushed Tomatoes
Mashed potato, polenta or pureed cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 180C Fan Forced.
Pat the lamb shanks dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot over high heat. Sear the lamb in 2 batches until brown all over (about 5 minutes)
Remove lamb shanks onto a plate and cover loosely with alfoil.
Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the same pot. Add the onion and garlic, cook for two minutes.
Add carrot and celery. Cook for 5-10 minutes until onion is translucent and sweet.
Add the tomato paste, ensuring it makes contact with the base of the pot to fry off (this adds an additional layer of flavour to your sauce)
Add the red wine, increase the heat briefly until the wine begins to boil. Return to a medium-high heat.
Add the beef stock, crushed tomato, rosemary, fennel seeds and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Return the lamb shanks to the pot, ensuring they are mostly submerged in the mixture. If your shanks are too large to submerge, ensure you turn them halfway through the cook.
Turn stove up to bring liquid to a simmer. Cover, then transfer to the oven for a minimum of two hours (or until tender).
Remove lamb from the sauce and put onto a plate to keep warm.
Optional: Use a stick blender to blend the carrot, onion, tomato mixture into a puree.
Serve the lamb shanks on mashed potato, polenta or puree with plenty of sauce!