By Magdalena Roze
These lamb shanks are one of my go-to recipes because they’re incredibly simple to make, nourishing, versatile and flavoursome – the magic lies in the slow cooking. This gives the meat a chance to release all of its flavours and mesh with the others, while becoming deliciously tender too which makes it easier to digest too.
While the lamb shanks present beautifully, they can very easily be replaced which much cheaper cuts to make more of a stew, which is what I often do for family dinners. Just ask your butcher what they recommend.
While this recipe can easily be halved to make a smaller portion, I always recommend making a larger batch when slow cooking because it makes fantastic leftovers, freezes very well and can be easily repurposed as a pasta sauce or pie filling. Some would argue it tastes even better the next day!
4 lamb shanks
3 tablespoons olive oil
flour for dusting
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 brown onion, diced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 carrot, chopped roughly
2 celery stalks, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine, optional
2 cans of whole or diced tomatoes
1 litre beef stock or water
1 bouquet garni*, plus extra herbs to garnish
2 medium sweet potatoes or 500g, peeled and diced into 2cm squares
1/4 of a pumpkin or 500g, peeled, deseeded and diced into 2cm squares
1 tablespoon ghee
Pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Season the lamb shanks in sea salt and dust in flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and and fry the lamb shanks two at a time until golden brown on all sides, then set aside.
In the same pot, add another tablespoon of oil and fry the garlic, onion, leek, carrot, celery, smoked paprika and a couple of pinches of salt and fresh cracked pepper until soft. Next add the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine (if using) and bring to the boil, cooking for another couple of minutes. When most of the alcohol has evaporated it will smell divine and then it’s time to add the canned tomatoes, stock, bouquet garni and lamb shanks. Bring it to the boil and then reduce to a low heat and simmer for at least 4-5 hours. You just want it bubbling away ever so slightly at the surface of the sauce. By the time it’s ready, the sauce will have reduced and thickened and the meat will be gorgeous, tender and wanting to fall of the bone.
The mash is super easy so you can make it just before serving. Just add the sweet potato to a pot of salted boiling water and cook for about ten minutes or until you can put a fork in the potato with ease. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return them to the pot for another 30 seconds to cook out any remaining moisture. Add your ghee and nutmeg to the potatoes and puree with a stick blender until it reaches a smooth and velvety consistency.
When you’re ready, serve the mash in shallow bowls, topped with a lamb shank and ladle of red sauce over the top, garnished with fresh thyme and parsley, and fresh sourdough on the side. There’s no need for butter as it’s best used to scoop and soak and leftover juices.
Notes: A bouquet garni is lovely little bunch of herbs tied with kitchen string. I use 2 bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 rosemary spring and 3 parsley stalks.
Recipe by Oil Garden ambassador Magdalena Roze from Happy & Whole, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Rob Palmer