Spicy Braised Lamb Shanks
Better still, this one pot dish is so easy and hassle-free it surprises me that I do not make it more frequently.
First, lamb shanks.
From the BBC, shanks are the "meaty cut from the lower end of the leg is full of flavour and will become meltingly tender, and fall from the bone after long, slow cooking."
Several hours before you want to eat ...
First, brown off your shanks in a heavy-based skillet.
While they're browning, chop some sweet red pepper and lay this into the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Sweet red peppers will give a deep, sweet flavour, which counters the spicy punch of the chillies we'll use. Cover with a good helping of tomato purée, for flavour and thickening.
Settle the lamb shanks onto the bed of peppers.
Chop an onion and sauté it in the residual fat in the skillet which will have rendered from the shanks. Pour over the shanks.
Mince a few bulbs of garlic and toss them into the dish - lamb can take a lot of garlic. I used maybe 6 or 8 cloves!
Mince a couple of chillies and toss them in.
Add a few flavours and colours, like coriander and paprika; aromatics, thyme, sage and rosemary; white pepper and celery salt.
Pour over some lamb stock to cover.
Lid on and into the oven set to 100C for the day.
Enjoyed your day? Great! Let's eat ...
Retrieve the shanks from the dish and place one into each bowl.
Blend the whole braising jus - this will help emulsify the fat into the liquid and make a deep, sumptuous sauce.
Boil the jus rapidly for a few minutes to reduce and thicken, then pour over the shanks and garnish with some fresh herbs - I used parsley.
Is that it?
Well, yes ... you could serve some steamed veggies alongside, even some potato, but I prefer a light Mediterranean salad of feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, capers, pickled chillies and pickled beetroot.
The meat should literally fall off the bone. Don't forget to winkle out the marrow!