Saturday, 11 February 2012

Heart Warming Delight - Braised Lamb Shanks with Orange, Olives and Cannellini Beans

Braised Lamb Shanks with Orange, Olives
and Cannellini Beans
Browning the shanks
Sauté the vegetables and herbs
Return the shanks to the casserole
Add the beans for the last 30 minutes of cooking
Braised Lamb Shanks with Orange, Olives and Cannellini Beans

Lamb shank is undeniably one of my favourite cut of meat and if time is not of the essence, I will cook this everyday. However, as a working adult who is stuck with the hectic routine of having to get up in the morning and off to work for most part of the day. So when I get to relax in the evening, a long slow cooking process is the last thing I want. However, when I do get a chance, this is definitely a delight that I will treat myself to time and time again.

Lamb shank is the meaty cut of the leg and only by slow cooking it, will you be able to bring out the melting tenderness of this wonderful joint. The robustness of the meat is a perfect platform for all other strong flavours such as rosemary and anchovies etc. For this recipe, I have also added oranges which yield an added aroma to the final dish. For a wintry warmer, this grand looking, perfumed braised lamb dish is truly second to none.

If you wish, the cannellini beans can be opted out and serve this with some creamy, buttery mashed potatoes instead.

(Serves 4)


4 large lamb shanks, roughly 450g each
Olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 anchovies fillets
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 bushy sprig of thyme
1 bushy sprig of rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 orange, cut 1 into 6 wedges 
2 large handful of black olives, pitted (around 20)
250ml dry white wine
250ml chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 300g tin of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed with cold water
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
grated zest of 1 orange, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat some olive oil in a large oven-proof casserole over medium heat and brown the shanks. Remove and set aside.

In the same casserole, throw in the chopped onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soften. Chopped up the anchovy fillets and add to the casserole  together with the tomato purée and herbs. Cook for another minute and then add the orange wedges and olives. Add the stock and the wine. Return the shanks back into the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and put into the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 2 hours. 

After 2 hours, take the casserole out of the oven. Add the beans to the lamb, stir gently to combined. Add a splash of water if required. Cover with the lid and return the casserole back into the oven. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender and start to fall from the bone.

Serve in a deep dish garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and orange zest.

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