1 tbsp light oil
2 small medium or lamb shanks
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
1 brown onion
1 large carrot
1 large garlic clove
generous sprig fresh sage
generous sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
125ml (1/2 cup) red wine
1 x 400g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
fresh mint or flat leaf parsley
Brown rice or soft polenta
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees (320 farenheit). Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish over a medium heat.
Season the lamb shanks all over with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in the pan, setting aside afterwards.
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion and the carrot. Turn the heat down to low and add them to the pan with a little more salt. Fry for 8-10 minutes until the onions and carrot are soft and just starting to colour.
Peel and add the garlic, crushed or finely grated, and cook until aromatic. Finely chop the fresh herbs and stir them into the pan along with the bay leaf and lots more seasoning.
Add the wine and turn the heat back up to medium, allowing it to bubble away and reduce by half. Now is the time to scrape up any bits stuck on the pan from browning the lamb shanks and stir them into the sauce.
Add the tinned tomatoes and stock – you can use stock to swill out the tomato tin so you don’t leave any tomato sauce behind.
Return the lamb shanks to the sauce and bring to the boil. Clap on the lid and transfer to the oven to braise for 2 to 2 ½ hours (depending on what size shanks you use). The lamb is cooked when it falls off the bone and is fork tender.
Lay a couple of sheets of kitchen paper over the top of the sauce (I remove the shanks while I do this) to absorb the layer of fat sitting on top.
Season the sauce to taste before serving over mashed potato, brown rice or polenta, sprinkled with roughly chopped soft herbs.
Keywords: lamb, slow cook, lamb shank