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Outback Lamb shanks with pumpkin, red wine & dates

It's probably not quite cool enough to get the slow cooker out but I've gone and done it anyway. Corvid-19 has got me working my way through the pantry and for some reason (possible an unhealthy addiction to date slice) we have an abundance of pitted dates. Hopefully the internet never goes down, firstly because we have 4 school aged kids now doing their learning from home; but secondly because when I want to use a particular ingredient I just put it into google. On this occasion it was lamb, dates and pumpkin and TASTE threw this gem up at me. There is a variation with curry and coconut milk that I will post soon as well - it looked delicious. I served this with some home made damper, but in the image I think it looks a bit like polenta and I reckon that would go a treat with it as well.

INGREDIENTS

4-6 lamb shanks

2 tablespoons olive oil 2 brown onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup dry red wine

1x 400g can diced tomatoes 1 cup whole pitted dates, halved 1 cinnamon stick 2 tablespoons chopped fresh continental parsley



METHOD Cut the pumpkin into hearty, big, bite sized chunks.

Combine the boiling water and crumbled stock cubes in a heatproof jug. Stir to combine and set aside until required.

Coat the lamb shanks all over with the flour, I do this in a bag. Remove and shake off any excess.

Heat the oil in a large heatproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 or 6 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion is soft.

Put onion, garlic, and lamb shanks into the slow cooker along with reserved chicken stock, red wine, tomatoes, dates and cinnamon stick, and leave for 4-6 hours.

I added the pumpkin about half way through the cooking time, but up to an hour before would be fine.

Serve with either bread, polenta or mashed potato, top with lamb shanks mixture and sprinkle with parsley.