This winter warmer is perfect for a comforting Sunday lunch. The slow cooking makes for tender lamb that falls from the bone with maximum taste. The beans soak up all the herby, smoky flavours and the tomato-y sauce becomes rich and silky over time. I like to serve with seasonal greens and mashed potatoes or with crusty bread to mop up all the leftover sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g smoked back bacon, fat trimmed, chopped
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • a few sprigs of thyme, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 1litre chicken or lamb stock
  • 2x400g cans of mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 30g butter
  • 75g seasoned breadcrumbs

 

Method

(Approx 20 minutes prepping. 3 1/2 hours cooking.)

  1. Season and brown the outside of the lamb shanks in oil in a pan. Set lamb aside and then fry bacon lardons in the same pan, then adding onions and garlic. Cover up for 3-4 minutes until onions soften.
  2. Add tomato puree to the onions with a few thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir it together for a couple of minutes then adding wine (pour one for yourself too!). Let the wine reduce down for a couple of minutes before adding stock.
  3. Stick the shanks back in the pan, cover and turn the heat down low and leave for approximately 2 1/2 – 3 hours (turn shanks halfway through to ensure even cooking) until the meat is tender.
  4. Take the shanks out and cover with foil to rest to one side.
  5. Skim fat off the top of the sauce before turning the heat up to reduce it down by about half.
  6. Reduce the heat back to a simmer, then add sausages and beans and cook for further 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and return lamb to the pan to warm through before serving.
  8. Melt some butter in a frying pan and then brown of the breadcrumbs with thyme leaves.
  9. Plate up the lamb and spoon the beans, sauce and sausages over the top before sprinkling golden breadcrumbs on top. Serve immediately.


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