Deliciously Rich Lamb Shank
250g streaky bacon
4 lamb shanks
50ml olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
8 cloves garlic
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
Half bottle white wine
1 tin cherry tomatoes (400g)
Few sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
350ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
In a large casserole dish (or saucepan that transfers to the oven), fry the bacon in the knob of butter until it’s done (ie brown and crisp) and then set aside.
Then, over a high heat, brown the shanks in the bacon fat until they’ve got some good colour. Remove them from the pan and set the shanks aside with the bacon. Add the olive oil to the pan – you may not need it, if there’s enough fat remaining – and over a very gentle heat, saute the onions, garlic and carrots.
Next, deglaze the pan by adding all the white wine and simmering for a bit. Add the bacon, tomatoes, herbs and stock, and mix thoroughly. Nestle the shanks in well, cover the dish with a lid and cook in the oven at 150C for 3-4 hours until the meat comes away easily from the bone. Now, I must stress, that I ended up cooking mine for nearly 6 hours one day.
The meat needs to be falling away from the bone. If it isn’t, top up with more water or stock and keep cooking. Add the cannellini beans about 40 minutes before the stew is done. Serve with the ‘smash’ below.
If you want to do this the day before and make it into more of a ragout, then simply allow to cool a bit, tear the meat off the bones, discard the bones (or use them to make bone broth) add the cannelini beans, allow to cool down and simply re-heat the next day.