“A pinch of patience, a dash of kindness, a spoon full of laughter and heaps of love”
One of the things I love about cooking is that it’s creative – every meal filled with excitement, it’s like looking at a blank canvas…then start mixing flavours, colours and trying out different combination that might go well on the plate. When it works, life is just wonderful and almost magical.
Lamb shank is one of favourite meats, but I don’t cook it very often because it holds a special place in my heart. As the very first time I made this dish was approximately 3 years ago on my hubby’s birthday. I remembered it was when I finished my graphic design degree and after spending a few good months on job hunting. Life hasn’t been easy after quitting a full-time job to pursue my passion, but he has been so supportive… and I still remember how happy he was for me when I told him I finally got 3 job offers. That’s when I realised I have become so obsessed and driven in my projects for so long that I haven’t taken a good look at him for a while; I failed to notice a few grey hair has creeped up on his head; and even forgot to prepare a decent birthday gift a day before his birthday.
So I txt him at work saying “Remember to finish work on time tonight, I have made booking to go to LoneStar tonight for your favourite dish on your special day”, then I started google different lamb shanks recipes, and then took a walk to Countdown with the hope of beginner’s luck that I could pull this dish off and sweep him off his feet. Well…long story short, the smile on his face was priceless and I fell in love with cooking ever since.
prep time: 20 mins | cook time: 3 hrs | makes 2
- 2 quality lamb shanks
- 1/4 cup standard white flour
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 stalk of celery, trimmed, sliced thickly
- 1 leek, washed, halved and finely sliced
- 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste (my favorite: extra garlic flavor)
- 1.5 cups of red wine (preferably Merlot)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary or 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 cups of chicken/beef stock (preferably beef stock but chicken stock works well too)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Season the lamb shanks with sea salt and pepper, then lightly coated with some white flour.
- In a large frying pan brown the lamb shanks on all sides in the olive oil, then remove from pan.
- In the same frying pan, put in garlic, carrots, onions, celery, leeks and cook slowly until nicely colored; then add tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.
- Pour in the red wine, then chicken/beef stock, sea salt and pepper to taste and stir gently bringing it to a low boil.
- Put lamb shanks into the wine mixture, cover and cook with low heat for 2.5-3 hrs until the lamb shanks are very tender. Alternatively, cover; put in oven and cook for 2.5-3hrs (Oven needs to be preheated to 325F/180C degrees).
- Remove the lamb shanks and keep warm; skim the fat off the top of the red wine sauce.
- Mix together the flour with just a bit of cold water and whisk the flour mixture into the red wine sauce until desired consistency.
- Serve up on individual plates with mashed potatoes, round beans and enjoy.