A simple and fresh recipe with authentic Italian flavours
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours 30 minutes
4 lamb shanks
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
400g heirloom tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch basil
400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
1 cup risoni (short cut pasta)
Fennel and radicchio salad
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
1/2 head radicchio, leaves removed, washed and torn
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced.
Place tomatoes, 2 whole stems of basil, butter beans and garlic in a large cast iron pan or ovenproof baking dish. Place lamb shanks on top, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour 1.5 cups of water around the lamb, cover with a piece of wet crumpled baking paper and cover with lid. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours until lamb is tender.
Add risoni and 1. 1/2 cups water around the lamb and return to the oven for another 20 minutes until risoni is tender.
Dress fennel and radicchio with vinegar when ready to serve. Top with fennel fronds. Tear remaining large basil leaves and pick small leaves and stir through risoni. Serve lamb on top of risoni with salad on the side.
Six surprisingly different ways to cook with lamb shanks this winter
Cooked until they're fall-apart tender, lamb shanks make a delicious and satisfying meal. They are quick and easy to prepare, with the oven, stovetop or slow cooker releasing their mouth-watering succulence and flavour.
No matter the recipe, lamb shanks are at their best when browned in a pan then finished off low and slow in cooking liquid. Great for a get together or as easy midweek dinner, simply put the lamb shanks in a slow cooker in the morning before heading out for the day for an irresistible dinner awaiting you after work.
Lamb shank handy cooking tips:
Don't rush the initial stage of browning the lamb. This will result in a meal rich in colour and flavour.
Make use of the rich flavours left from browning the lamb. After removing the lamb, scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and add them to your dish to make good use of all the flavour.
It's easy to use the stovetop rather than an oven. Use a heavy-based pan or dish, stir the meal often and adjust the temperature if needed to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom and burning.
Maintain a gentle simmer. Controlling the heat is important; too low a heat will affect flavour, too high a heat and the meal will boil, resulting in tough, dry lamb.
Converting a recipe for the slow cooker. As a general guide, you can convert any oven or stovetop recipe by allowing 5-6 hours on low or 2-2.5 hours on high in a slow cooker for every hour in the original recipe. Since there is little evaporation when cooking with a slow cooker, reduce the liquid the recipe calls for by about a cup. The lamb will fall off the bone when tender and ready.
For additional recipe inspiration, visit www.australianlamb.com.au