Tomato and Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank

During my 3 year stay in the USA, lamb made very few and far between appearances, I always asked why and got the same answer…it smells when cooking. Now I have always been confused by this statement, personally I cannot ask for a better aroma to flood through my house than when cooking lamb, whether it is in a stew or a roasting in the oven.

Slow cooked, family style food which brings comfort and warmth when you indulge, in my opinion, is my signature style.  This can be anything from my favourite lamb shank (or Springbok shank if you can find), to a melody of curries, the cooked to perfection oxtail, unhurried roasts or home baked breads , studded with olives, rosemary and coarse salt served with freshly made pâtés and preserves. Definitely not waistline friendly…however, I try to keep that balance of healthy vs. pure food bliss. During winter time, the later has the upper hand.

With us being in the midst of winter, there is nothing more comforting than sharing slow cooked lamb shanks, and a wonderful bottle of wine with family to shoo off the cold.

Tomato & Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank
serves 4

lamb shank plated

4 lamb shanks
300g flour
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Olive Oil for frying
1 tsp white sugar
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
1 pkt celery, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 pkt carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 whole star anise
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 Knorr beef stock pot
¾ bottle of red wine (I used a Fairview La Capra Merlot)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 pkt tomato paste
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
seasoning to taste

Preheat the oven to 150°C

In a plastic packet, mix the flour, paprika, salt and black pepper, place the shanks in – one at a time – and shake.  You want to coat the entire shank well with the flour mixture. Set aside.

In a deep, cast iron pot, heat olive oil over a medium to high heat, brown the lamb shanks.  Set aside.

Without cleaning the pot, fry the onions, carrots, celery and sugar until soft.  Add the tomato paste and garlic and fry further until you see the oil starts splitting from the tomato paste.

Add the star anise, cloves cinnamon stick and stock pot.  Stir before placing the lamb shanks in the pot.  Cover with wine and whole peeled tomatoes and add rosemary sprigs.  You want to just cover the shanks, if the wine doesn’t cover the lamb shanks, add some boiling water.

Cover the rim of the pot with flour & water glue (See Chef Note at the bottom of the page).  Place the lid on top and squash, you want to have a completely sealed pot which won’t let steam escape.

Place in the oven for 4 to 5 hours. This time may vary based on your oven, so use this only as a guide.  You want the shank to be so soft that you can just pull the bone out without breaking the meat apart.

Turn the oven to grill, take shanks out of the sauce and set under the grill.  Careful not to burn, you just want some colour on the meat.

Using a handheld blender, blitz the sauce, if it is not thick, place it in a pot and reduce, or to cheat, thicken with corn flour.

Serve with parsley & garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables.

 lamb shanks in pot

Flour & Water Paste:
This is a paste made from water and flour which create a type of glue which you can seal pots with to ensure that no steam escapes.  Use about 1 ½ cups flour, to about 3/4 cup  water, for the paste. You are looking for play dough type consistency.
Working on a floured surface, shape the dough into a long sausage shape, then press the sausage onto the rim of the casserole.

 

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I Dream in Rainbow

I dream in rainbow is my new personal slogan.

What brought this on you ask? A few things…I will get to that in a bit. I have a few things running amuck in my head right now, I can only somewhat promise that I will make sense.

Firstly, this is NOT a food post…sorry I am not sharing a recipe today, although, now that I think about it, that Pad Thai I made last night was delicious, I could share maybe some of the recipe, just to make it a legit food post? NO…focus Ang…This is all about dreaming in rainbow.

Secondly, I have decided that rocking the boyfriend blazer does not make me look like the type of woman who eats her young, it’s sassy and  daring…I will have to speak with my fashionista friend, Leely, to discuss the finer details of tweaking said outfit which is currently being shared with the whole of St Francis Bay and a certain portion of Jeffery’s Bay.

boyfriend-blazer

The original thought pattern behind this post – The Color Run.  I just fell in love with this idea and am now currently working hard to take part in the Port Elizabeth Color Run in September, this year.  I am an achiever, I go for what I want and I always excel, however I am not competitive, which often leads to me not taking part in ‘peeing contests’ so for me, this Color Run is perfect – known as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”, this event is dedicated to celebrating a healthy lifestyle, happiness and individuality, and most importantly, giving.  Each city has a selected charity which all proceeds are awarded to.

color run banner

I dived head first in doing some research, trying to consume as much knowledge about training for a 5k run.  I always just ran, jogged and went with what I felt like, I never had a set routine or goal, I run because I enjoy it.

And the planning began. Let’s face it, what is the most important part of your run…MUSIC.  I wanted some upbeat, new tunes that would rock my run!

Now my OCD kicks in, yes, I know you all going “Eish Poor Husband of Ang”  I don’t like running with my phone – again I hear you going “WHAT you actually do spend time away from social media & out of contact with the world” – I do – I needed to fix this dilemma before any training of any sort would commence.

Short of whipping out my Über N3rd Skillz and creating my own C25K program, I found downloadable podcasts to get me started on my new mission.

Now I have nothing holding me back, I am equipped – the world is my oyster, as the saying goes and I dream in rainbow.

 

color run