Is there anything more heartwarming than a slow cooked dish on a cold winter’s day? Well, actually soup is pretty good for that and ah casseroles and um pies….anyway, slow cooked lamb shanks is my favorite of all the slow cooked meals I have created, I have used recipe bases from the supermarket but I just think using basic fresh ingredients is better, much better. My mum used to cook shanks in a pearl barley broth when I was a kid and I loved grabbing hold of that sticky warm shank by the bone and watch that tender succulent meat just fall off, nothing’s changed except these days we have slow cookers whereas in my mum’s day it was in a big pot on the stove or a pressure cooker, this is a variation of my mum’s original recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
What you’ll need…….
4 – 6 lamb shanks
½ cup red wine (not for sipping apparently)
1 large onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 carrots, thickly sliced
4 celery stalks, thickly sliced
½ cup pearl barley
½ cup split green peas
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 400 g can of diced or crushed tomatoes
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup water
salt and pepper
Here’s how to do it…………..
Turning on slow the cooker is always a good start, not that I forgot or anything…..to a high setting. Brown your shanks in a little oil in a very hot pan and then place them into the slow cooker. Return the pan back to the heat for deglazing, add the red wine to the pan and let it bubble away for a minute then pour the juices in to the slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, pearl barley, split peas and rosemary, followed by the tomatoes, water and stock, give all ingredients a very gentle stir. Season with salt and pepper, pop on the lid and don’t disturb for the next 5 – 6 hours, that goes for me too!
I served my shanks with the broth in a large flat bowl, you could also keep the broth separate in a bowl as a starter and serve your deliciously tender shank with some crusty bread, creamy mash or fresh greens or even rice or pasta! If you are like me and a little partial to a cheeky red with my wintry slow cooked dishes, I recommend Liz Richardson’s Shiraz Cabernet, as the label suggests it has ripe rich plum flavors from the Shiraz balanced perfectly with the bramble and savory characters from the Cabernet all topped off with some spicy French oak – yep does what it says on the label, a really nice drop as are all Liz Richardson’s wines that I have tasted so far, I am working my way through them all! If you would like to try a few wines from some new and up coming winemakers go nakedwines.com.au. become an “Angel” and I promise you won’t be disappointed, cheers!