Mediterranean-Style Lamb Shanks


A proper treat for special occasions and/or ‘date nights’

Ok, so this might be 582 calories (and more if you opt to add couscous), but Mediterranean-Style Lamb Shanks from Pinch of Nom tastes divine so why not treat yourself once in a while? You deserve it!

Lamb Shanks literally melt in your mouth when slow cooked and I’ve recently switched to a fab local butcher who provides top-quality meat at affordable prices. The perception that butchers are more expensive than supermarkets isn’t always the case, but the quality you get from them is undoubtedly superior. I’m not sure I’d go back to buying meat from supermarkets again

In their book, Pinch of Nom provide two alternative cooking methods for cooking this recipe – electric pressure cooker and slow cooker – so check them out if they appeal to you. I decided to ‘rough it’ by using a conventional oven and it was ready in about 2 ½ hours – perfect for a lazy Sunday. If you decide to have couscous with this (in hindsight, I’m not sure it needs it), make sure you buy a decent quality brand. Ainsley Harriott is pretty good and is available from most supermarkets.

Recipe: Mediterranean-Style Lamb Shanks

Calories: 582 per serving (without couscous)

Serves: 4

Book: Pinch of Nom

Prep time: Approx 25 mins

Cooking time: Approx 2 ½ to 3 hours (based on the oven cooking method)

Ingredients:

  • lamb shanks (all visible fat removed): about 400-450g, each
  • sea salt
  • freshly grounded black pepper
  • low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, plus a dash to deglaze
  • 250ml beef stock (1 beef stock cube dissolved in 250ml boiling water)
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 beef stock cube (in addition to the one above)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • generous handful of fresh parsley
  • cooked couscous to serve (optional)

Cost per portion: Approx £5.52

Method:

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and add the lamb shanks. Brown them over a medium heat for around 5 minutes until browned all over (this boosts the flavour).

Place the lamb in a large lidded casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/gas mark 4).

Deglaze the frying pan with a dash of the Worcestershire sauce and beef stock, scraping up any bits of meat stuck to the bottom of the pan – use a wooden spoon for this. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Fry for a few minutes, coating them in the deglaze mix, until the onion starts to colour, then add the tomato puree and fry for 3-5 minutes.

Pour the pan mixture into the dish on top of the lamb shanks. Add in the remaining ingredients (except the parsley) making sure to crumble in the stock cube. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the lamb is tender, checking a few times during cooking to see if you need to add a little more liquid.

Remove the shanks from the dish and heat the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency (you may want to pass the liquid through a fat strainer as lamb is naturally quite fatty). Stir through the chopped parsley and serve with couscous, if desired, pouring the sauce over the top.

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