I always prefer meals that involve cooking meat in a sauce until it is soft and tender to those that involve baking meat in the oven, so when my husband asked me to make lamb shanks, I looked for a base recipe that included a sauce. I found a South African casserole dish that required the slow cooking of the lamb in a delicious sounding red wine sauce and this is my derivative of that recipe. I made this meal for a Fathers Day gathering at my home, so I used 14 lamb shanks. The original recipe only used 4 and is easily accommodated by dividing the ingredients by 3 (increasing a recipe doesn’t involve exact multiplication of ingredients).
14 small lamb shanks
250 gram packed to celery stalks, chopped
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, peeled and diced
750 ml bottle of red wine of your choice
1 Tbspn garlic flakes
4 x tins diced tomatoes
60 gram tin of tomato paste
Olive oil for cooking
1 Tbspn thyme
4 dried bay leaves
4 cups beef stock + 2 additional cups beef stock
salt and pepper
1 cup plain flour
Place the lamb shanks in a bowl (I split this step in 2 as I had 14 shanks) and cover with the flour and salt and pepper. I use a lot of pepper much to my mom’s disgust. Cover the shanks completely.
Heat the oil in a heavy based pot and brown the lamb shanks.
Remove the shanks from the pot and place in a large casserole dish.
Loosen any debris from the bottom of the pot by adding a few Tbspns of red wine. Scrap the debris out and into the casserole dish.
Add more olive oil and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add the red wine, thyme, garlic (you can use more, I use a small amount because Dad hates garlic), tinned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer. Add the 4 cups of beef stock. Carefully pour the contents of the saucepan into the casserole dish and place in the oven, pre-heated to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cook for 4 hours. After 2 hours remove the dish from the oven and top up the liquid with a further 2 cups of beef stock.
Serve with rice.
If you are interested, you can watch the cooking process show in the following two short videos.