Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
LAMB Shanks are something that taste really good, however, you will need lots of time and plan ahead, as they will take a long time to cook down. They are quite tough, however, the slow cooking process tenderises the meat and all the fat just melts away and you are left with a delicious tender and juicy meal. They are a typical food of Africa and the Middle East so I have given this dish an exotic twist just to liven things up – enjoy!
4 lamb shanks
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. tomato puree
2 tsp. paprika
2 bay leaves
1 rosemary sprig
1 pint red wine
100ml cider vinegar
100ml beef stock
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. plain flour
50g dried apricots, sliced
1 tbsp. pine nuts
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper
Dust the lamb shanks with the flour and shake off any excess. Heat a large casserole dish or stockpot and add the olive oil and butter. Fry the shanks over medium heat until browned on all sides. Then add the onions and cook until they have softened. Add the herbs, red wine, vinegar, tomato puree and season well with salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid and place in a preheated oven at 150oC. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, then reduce the oven to 100oC and cook for a further 30 minutes uncovered.
Carefully remove the shanks and place on a serving platter. Loosely cover with tin foil and allow to rest.
Strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan, adding the apricots and pine nuts, and simmer until slightly thickened. Add 1 tbsp. of butter and stir until completely incorporated and glossy.
Serve with couscous for an authentic feel.
Pour the sauce over the shanks and serve immediately sprinkled with chopped coriander and lime wedges. Serve with couscous and roast vegetables.