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Braised Lamb Shanks with Port and Rosemary

Braised lamb shanks with port and rosemaryWinter in Melbourne isn’t harsh by world standards. Bleak damp days are interspersed by driving rain and bone chilling winds with crisp clear days of glorious sunshine for respite. I embrace the winter for giving me the opportunity to oven braise cuts of meat that are out of place in summer, like oxtail, lamb shanks, beef cheeks and short ribs.

On the constant lookout for inspired and distinct flavour variations, a long forgotten half consumed bottle of Tawny Port at the back of the booze cupboard looked like a good candidate for the braising pot. Partnered with fresh perennial herbs from our communal garden, it cried out for long slow oven braised lamb shanks.

My shanks were busily browning in the pan before I discovered that I’d put the last carrots in the stock pot, so, vowing to add carrot the next day when I reheated the lamb at dinnertime, I pushed on.

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of covered cast iron casserole dishes, I have five of different shapes, sizes and capacities. The gentle evaporation of the cooking liquid at a low temperature in the oven guarantees an irresistibly delicious rich and sticky sauce, but I wasn’t prepared for the incredible depth of flavour I got from these braised shanks braised devoid of aromatics.

I’ll never know if  it was the  sweet port, fragrant herbs or rich stock made with deeply caramelised bones that was responsible, or maybe together they wove a little magic.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Port and Rosemary

6 lamb shanks, frenched

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 large sprigs of fresh rosemary

small bunch fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

4 strips of lemon rind

400g can peeled chopped tomatoes

1 cup port

2 cups strong flavoured lamb or beef stock

2 teaspoons hot English mustard

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Tie the herbs, lemon zest and bay leaves into a bundle with kitchen string.

Generously season the lamb shanks with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Over a medium heat, brown the shanks in a saute pan until well coloured.

Remove to an ovenproof casserole dish, then discard the excess fat from the pan.

Deglaze the saute pan with the port, scraping all the crusty bits into the sauce.

Mix the mustard with a little stock to soften then add it along with the tomatoes and stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, then pour over the shanks.

If necessary, add extra stock or water to totally submerge the shanks.

Cover the surface of the sauce with a piece of baking paper, put the lid on the casserole dish then oven braise the shanks for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven, allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight for the flavour to mature and the surface fat to set.

The next day, lift all the fat off the surface.

The sauce should be an unctuous glaze. If not, remove the shanks from the dish and set aside.

Over a medium heat bring the sauce to the boil, lower the heat then reduce to a glazing consistency. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Return to shanks to the pan and gently heat through.

Serves 6

Delicious with buttery mashed potatoes.

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

30 comments on “Braised Lamb Shanks with Port and Rosemary

  1. Fae's Twist & Tango
    June 17, 2015

    My family and I love lamb shank and I make it quite often. I usually make them very simpley I must say, not only do I love the ingredients of this recipe, but also you have dished it is superbly! Absolutely decadent!

    Like

  2. MamaD1xx4xy
    June 17, 2015

    Looks fantastic. I will have to wait quite a while for cooler weather though. I too am a fan of cast iron!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 17, 2015

      I found I had quite a list of dishes to try when winter began, recipes I’d bookmarked over our summer. I enjoyed revisiting the posts….

      Like

  3. Gather and Graze
    June 13, 2015

    Can’t seem to get enough of lamb shanks lately Sandra! I always use red wine, so it will be nice to have a change and try the port next time. Truly a fabulous, winter dish!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 14, 2015

      Thanks Margot, shanks and winter go hand in hand, using port was a nice variation

      Like

  4. lapetitepaniere
    June 12, 2015

    Looks really really good, Sandra! 🙂

    Like

  5. Eha
    June 12, 2015

    Love lamb shanks as methinks I have said before 🙂 ! Have not made them with port . . . which is not one of my favourite sins and hence is usually missing from the drinks cupboard! But this looks so moreish . . . well, I’ve had both cheeks and oxtail twice in the past fortnight so it is about time to find a couple of shanks from my meat supply. Love your method: weekend coming up – I know my neighbour does keep port, so . . .

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 13, 2015

      I’m not a port drinker either, but it’s good to cook with, and delicious with lamb shanks

      Like

  6. Michelle
    June 12, 2015

    Oh, I love lamb shanks in the cool weather. It always feels so “Flintstones” to eat them. In a good way. 🙂

    Like

  7. Bunny Eats Design
    June 12, 2015

    Looks fabulous! I’ve never tried cooking with port before but cook with red wine often. Some for the food and some for me. When cooking with port, does the chef require a glass for inspiration?

    Like

  8. talkavino
    June 12, 2015

    That sounds delicious, Sandra!

    Like

  9. Sue
    June 12, 2015

    Gorgeous, I’m saving the recipe for late autumn/winter. Like you, I am a fan of cast iron casserole dishes, and own 5 myself at the moment (prior to downsizing, when I shall still have 3 I think 😀

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 13, 2015

      I don’t think I could give up any of my cast iron bakeware, i use them all, equally, so good luck with downsizing…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue
        June 13, 2015

        Thanks!

        Like

  10. Raquel
    June 12, 2015

    Love lamb! Perfect use of the shanks!

    Like

  11. cheergerm
    June 11, 2015

    Bookmarked and wiping drool off my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      June 11, 2015

      Ha, I often slobber over my Ipad, sign of a good cook I reckon, a person who can salivate over a list of ingredients

      Liked by 1 person

  12. marymtf
    June 11, 2015

    Made my own lamb shank dish today, minus the port. Port doesn’t have time to gather dust in my cupboard. Love your version.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 11, 2015

      Thanks Mary. Lamb shanks are so good, no matter what you do with them….

      Like

  13. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    June 11, 2015

    Bookmarked already. Have some port already, just waiting for winter! Definitely magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Francesca
    June 11, 2015

    Looking at your chosen ingredients, I can see why that magic happened. By the way, I have noticed some of your dinner ware over the past few months- very lovely pieces.

    Like

  15. fluidicthought
    June 11, 2015

    Yum, my favourite dish of all time!

    Like

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This entry was posted on June 11, 2015 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Lamb, Main Meals and tagged , , , .
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