from one generation to the next
I’m rarely succeed in snaring a bargain at the butcher’s shop, but recently in desperate need of coffee beans I raced into our local fresh food market on a Sunday morning only to find my regular butcher clearing his stock before the close of weekly trade. My prize was a tray of six lamb shanks, untrimmed, priced under $1 each!! A frenched lamb shank in the depth of winter when in high demand can cost up to $4, so I was very happy indeed. Though the days were still warm, the cooler weather was imminent, so I packaged the shanks and put them into the freezer.
We’ve come to the coast for the weekend. The sun is shining, but there is a very cold south westerly wind blowing, an early wintery blast. My seaside neighbour has an enormous rosemary bush by his front gate. It’s gnarled and twisted and hardened by the prevailing salt bearing coastal winds. I “trim” his rosemary regularly. Yesterday I made this delicious braise with coastal rosemary.
4 lamb shanks trimmed, frenched if you prefer
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
1 cup sliced green onion tops
6 cloves garlic
Large sprig of fresh rosemary
1 lemon, zest only
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
500mls vegetable stock
1 glass white wine
Pre heat the oven to 160C. Trim the shanks.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, brown the shanks until well coloured then transfer to an ovenproof dish with a close fitting lid.
Pour off the lamb fat from the pan then heat with the remaining olive oil. Add the diced vegetables, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest. Sauté until the vegetables become translucent then transfer then to the casserole dish. Deglaze the pan with the white wine then add the stock, mustard, tomato paste and honey. Bring to the boil, then pour over the shanks. Lay a piece of baking paper over the surface of the shanks, cover tightly and braise slowly in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Chill overnight, then lift the fat from the surface. Reheat and serve.
Delicious with mashed potatoes and steamed greens.