Lamb Shanks extraordinaire
Hello there fine people :) So I am rather excited to share this dish with you.
Since my family are none too fond of lamb, I don't get much chance to cook it at home.
So the other evening after a rather draining day at work, I was very tempted to stop past our local pizza takeout rather than cooking. Somehow my will power got the best of me (to the benefit of my waistline) and I decide to stop past the spar instead.
I wasn't sure what I felt like for supper but I was going to make cottage pie for my husband and the family... Its one of his favourites so I try to make it regularly... but I am not a huge fan. And yes, I agree with you - this does not make sense because I love mash... and I eat mince... but just not together. In my opinion, Mince is made for pasta - or to be reshaped into a ball or pattie!
So anyway - perusing the aisles, waiting for something to jump out at me and say "cook me" (not literally! LOL) I noticed that the Spar had a nice selection of rather reasonably priced lamb shanks. And so began the journey to this awesomeness above. :)
I don't have an exact recipe per say... Im sorry - i was experimenting and sort of just eyeballed it but basically this is what went in...
- sprinkled the lamb generously with salt, pepper and my Ina Paarmans rosemary and olive spice.
- Patted it down and the browned the shank in a pan till sort of brown and sealed all around.
- Set lamb aside.
- In the same pan, I added chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms cayenne pepper, paprika, more rosemary and olive spice. Let the onions get tender for a bit in all the aroma and spice.
- I added a good glug or two of red wine. I used a merlot I think. - and a little by the by rule with adding wine to food, if its not good enough to drink - don't put it in your food!!!
- I also added some greek yoghurt to try and tone down the wine a bit. I know yoghurt is sometimes used as a tenderiser so I figured it couldnt hurt.
- I added some halved baby potatoes to this concoction and let it simmer for a bit.
- After a while - I suppose maybe 15 min, I added the shank back into the pan, covered it with foil and placed into a 180 degree oven.
- Cooked it covered for 45min and the another 20 min without. This helped to reduce and thicken the sauce.
- you can do this in a nice oven dish if you have more than 1 shank
- I found my pan easiest esp since they are oven friendly.
- if you are using more than 1 shank this will take longer, most recipes that feed 4-6 pple say to cook 2 hours covered and another 1 uncovered.
- I added a little bisto to mine to help thicken the sauce. :)
I made couscous to go with the lamb (Another family - "would rather avoid"). Couscous is supposed to be easy but this is something I have messed up a bit in the past. Hopefully that is all behind me now since mine came out well! :) I think I usually add too much water so it goes all sort of mushy! :( yegh! I realised that it must be equal portions of couscous and liquid. Nice idea to add a knob of butter through the granules when you separate them after with a fork.
So anyway - My lamb was sooo damn good! And it wasnt just cos I made it. A colleague and fellow foodie confirmed the goodness with shared leftovers the next day!!! and with my stroke of luck with the couscous - I converted a non-lover to a "this is not so bad... mmm"
All in a days work!
Have a good week! :)