Rainy day food – Lamb Shanks with Bacon and Mushrooms

15 Jun

It really is the weather for lamb shanks, isn’t it? Well, it is if you live in the southern parts of Australia. We are in the grip of what’s called a deep east-coast low. Sounds kind of cool. It isn’t. Well, it is cool in the sense of damn freezing cold and very wet. Anyway, these endless rainy days seem to lend themselve to slow cooking. So on the weekend, I busted out the old casserole dish and filled the house with delicious smells of slow cooking lamb. Shanks are very forgiving. To make them yummy you really just need to cook them for a long, long time. You can’t really overcook them, as long as they remain in some form of stock. Anyway, here’s the dish I cooked. It’s from Good Taste magazine, which have all their recipes on taste.com.au.
Serves 4
2 onions, diced
1tbs olive oil
6 lamb shanks, frenched
200g button mushrooms thickly sliced
4 bacon rashers, coarsely chopped
2 celery sticks thingly sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
400g can diced tomatoes
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
80g spinach leaves

Heat oil in heavy saucepan and brown lamb shanks, 2 at a time. Remove from saucepan. Add onions, mushrooms, bacon, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and add stock, tomato and rosemary. Bring to the boil then reduce to low and return lamb shanks to the pan. Cover and cook for 1.5 hours or until meat falls off the bone. Transfer lamb shanks to a plate and cover with foil. Increase hat to high and simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes or until the sace thickens and reduces by half. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and stir until it wilts. Return the shanks to the pan and stir to coat. Cook til heated through. Serve with mash or rice.

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