Slow Cook Lamb Shanks in Red Wine and Lentils

shanks10This is one I’ve made a few times and each time it tastes a little different, but that’s because each time I put in different herbs, depending on what I have.

Cooking this for as long  as possible is the key for a thick luscious sauce and meat that will fall of the bone.

This is the recipe as I made it a few days ago. We ended up with extra lentil gravy, but that went down well the next day for lunch over smashed potato .

Needed: 4 lamb shanks (1 per person) seasoned well with salt, pepper and cinnamon

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves garlic – roughly chopped

1/2 leek – cut in half longways, rinsed and thinly sliced

2cm piece of fresh ginger – finely chopped

1 small carrot – diced

1 stalk celery – stalk and leaves diced

1 – 2 chillies (depending on how you like it) – finely sliced

1 cup lentils – par-boiled (bring just over 1/2 cup of  lentils to boil in lots of water, let them simmer for about 10 minutes, strain and they’re ready to use)

250ml red wine

250g canned diced tomato

salt, pepper,1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon sugar, 4-5 bay leaves, few sprigs lemon thyme, 3 sprigs rosemary

shanks 1Heat the oil in a large oven proof dish and brown the shanks on all sides.  Take them out, turn the heat down to medium and add the leek, carrot, celery, chilli, ginger, garlic, fennel and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until soft.  Stir in the lentils, tomato, wine and about 1/2 cup of water.shanks2  Arrange the shanks in the sauce, making sure they’re nearly covered with the liquid, adding a little more water if you need to.shanks3

Cover with the lid and put in the oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes then turn down the heat down to 140 – 150 degrees and let it simmer away for 5 1/2 – 6 hours until the meat is tender or you can’t wait any more.

Take it out every now and again and stir it, turning the meat over in the sauce. Add more water if it’s looking too dry.

Lots of green beans and rice or potato on the side. Slices of crusty bread to mop up the sauce. A glass or two of your favourite red wine.