It’s not really been the winter for comfort food, but the recent cold snap had me all keen for some slow cooked deliciousness, a big fire and good company - plus a nice glass of red! So out went the invitations and voilà, braised shanks in red wine were on the menu.
6 Outback Lamb shanks
1 small bulb of garlic, cloves peeled
9 small onions, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 cup red wine
1 tin diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6-8 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, quartered
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in deep enamelled cast iron pot or baking dish over medium-high heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Brown on all sides, about 10 minutes or so, and transfer to your slow cooker.
Lightly brown the garlic and transfer to the slow cooker along with the meat.
Add the onions to the pot, cut side down, and sear without turning them, until nicely browned, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer them to the slow cooker as well.
Pour off any fat from the pot, add the red wine and bring to a boil.
Stir in tomatoes and pour this mixture into slow cooker over the meat, onions and garlic. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Add bay leaves and stock, then the lemons.
Braise on low for several hours - until shanks are tender.
About an hour before serving, using tongs remove all the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker and place back into the baking dish. Leaving uncovered, bake for 35-40 mins until it has darkened up nicely. Meanwhile, reduce the leftover liquid on the stove top until it has halved in quantity. Ladle this broth over meat while it’s still in the baking dish, cover with foil and keep warm until serving.
Serve with mashed potatoes, peas, steamed greens - and a good red wine of course!