Lamb Shanks at Long Last
I adore lamb shanks. I love the melting sinew, the tender flesh, the deep taste of the marrow. And like duck, it has gone from being a restaurant-order treat to being an everyday home cooked meal for me. When I first began to experiment with shanks, most of the recipes were tomato based in one way or another. It got to the point that Figman said that if he came home and smelt tomatoes and shanks cooking *he’d look very pathetic*.
So I hunted around and picked up my copy of the River Cafe Cook Book, which I bought ages ago and has sat, mostly unopened, on my shelf since then. I found a recipe for Shinco di Agnello. I floured and seasoned the shanks and browned them on each side in a heavy bottomed stockpot. I would not bother flouring again – it was unnecessary, messy and the flour remnants burnt in the pan – I had to clean it out before doing the second batch of browning.
I took the shanks and dumped them on a plate. Caramelized an onion or so, with the peel of an orange, sliced into thick enough pieces so the Figman, who hates fruit in his food, could recognise them and take them out (this didn’t actually happen but it was a tender thought on my part). 200ml Simon Johnson organic balsamic vinegar, juice of the orange and water to cover.
The recipe called for an oven and some red wine, but I put it to simmer on the stove top due to the unsuitability of the oven and the wine. I asked Figster to bring home a Shiraz Cabernet as this struck me as the appropriate wine for this sauce – something with flavour but not as strong as a Cab Sav. And while I love Pinot Noir and lamb, I felt the delicacy of pinot would be lost in this sauce.
The shanks simmered away for a couple of hours. Eventually when it arrived, I added half a bottle of red wine and left it to cook a bit more.
Absolutely delicious. And not a tomato in sight!
(There is no photo of this dish because it was so scrumptious, we gobbled it all up before I could take one. And I wrote a post about this days ago but the Internet ate it up!)