Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Slow cooked lamb shanks with mashed dutch cream potatoes and zucchinis sauteed in butter, garlic and lemon zest.

Sunday night comfort food

It has finely been cool enough to make me want to reach for my Le Cruset Dutch Oven and makes some comfort food – and enjoy once again some of the food groups I have been depriving myself of.

I have been cooking these lamb shanks since Elliot was a toddler. It is one of my favourite recipes and I have the River Café Cook book to thank for it. It is due to the same cook book I have the highest regard for the humble zucchini.

Unfortunately it is also the very same cookbook that I will forever associate Ossobucco in Bianco ( ossobucco which omits tomatoes and includes anchovies) with one of my handful of migranes. I think I will tempt fate after all these years and try this recipe this weekend.

Back to the recipe for the slow-cooked lamb shanks.

Shinco di Agnello
6 small lamb shanks
plain flour for dusting
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
a handful of chopped rosemary leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
175ml (6fl oz) balsamic vinegar
300ml (10 fl oz) red wine

Preheat the oven to 200c/400f (or you can cook on the stove)

Dust the lamb shanks with seasoned flour.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, heat the oil and brown the shanks on all sides then remove. Lower the heat, add the onions and cook for about 10-15 minutes until light brown. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Raise the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and the wine. Reduce for a couple of minutes
Return the shanks to the pan reduce the heat and cover with a piece of moistened greaseproof paper and lid. Cook in the oven for about 2-21/2 hours or alternatively on top of the stove.

Check the shanks from time to time, basting with the juices or adding more wine if they look too dry. Serve whole, with the juices.

My notes on recipe variations:

You can actually use 8 lamb shanks and extra red onions.

You can top up with beef stock for extra juice as well.

Skim off fat from top before serving

Add some cannellini beans to juices just prior to serving.

My sauteed zucchinis

Using a mandolin thinly slice zucchinis. In a frypan add a dash of olive oil and one finely diced garlic and saute for one minute add zucchini, dash of vegetable stock, cracked pepper and zest of one lemon. Heat for 3 minutes and serve on the side of lamb shanks.

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Mother of two with one of each. Wife of one.Dogless. Busy working five days a week, baking and cooking when time allows. Writing rarely these days. Wishing I had time to read more often.