The lawn around the little Anglican Church in Ladner, is strewn confetti- like with white, purple and yellow snow drops and crocuses. Our first spring flowers. Our weather though is hardly spring like. Damp and cold it called for a rib-sticking, warm the cockles of your heart food, LAMB SHANKS BRAISED IN RED WINE WITH ROSEMARY
This is one of those dishes you should start early in the day. The long slow simmering of the shanks in the robust tomato sauce, has the meat melting off the bone. That’s what you want.
LAMB SHANKS BRAISED IN RED WINE WITH ROSEMARY
6 lamb shanks
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped medium size
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 large carrots, cut into l cm (1/4 ) inch slices
8 fat cloves garlic, minced
A half bottle of red wine
2 (400 g) tins Italian whole peeled plum tomatoes undrained
2 cups rich beef or chicken stock
2-3 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tb chopped fresh thyme
Season shanks well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown shanks on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer shanks to a pot or casserole large enough to hold the shanks and the sauce.
If needed add a little more oil to the pan and add onions and garlic, sprinkle with a little salt and the red pepper flakes, and sauté until translucent.
Add the carrots and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and chicken or beef stock. Season with rosemary and thyme and bring to the boil . Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
Pour the tomato mixture over the lamb shanks and if you are cooking this in a pan or stove-top casserole , bring to the boil , then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until meat is tender, at least 3 hours. Occasional spoon sauce over the lamb shanks if they are not submerged.
If you are finishing this dish in an oven casserole, cover the shanks with the sauce pressing down to submerge. Bake, covered, in a 325F over for 3-4 hours.
Remove shanks and transfer to platter, and place in warm oven. Boil juices in pot until thickened, about 15 minutes. Spoon over shanks.
If you’ve been cooking the shanks in the oven, remove the cover and continue cooking them until the juices have thickened.
Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary. Heavenly!