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.
- 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
(Approx 20 minutes prepping. 3 1/2 hours cooking.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take the shanks out and cover with foil to rest to one side.
- Skim fat off the top of the sauce before turning the heat up to reduce it down by about half.
- Reduce the heat back to a simmer, then add sausages and beans and cook for further 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and return lamb to the pan to warm through before serving.
- Melt some butter in a frying pan and then brown of the breadcrumbs with thyme leaves.
- Plate up the lamb and spoon the beans, sauce and sausages over the top before sprinkling golden breadcrumbs on top. Serve immediately.