Braised Lamb Shank with Rosemary is braised in a hearty sauce of tomatoes, rosemary, onions and leek for 2 hours until fork-tender, and then served on a bed of mashed potatoes. An elegant dinner party-worthy dish that requires only 45 minutes of active time!
2LitresHot WaterOr enough to cover the lamb shanks
2TBspPlain FlourTo coat the lamb shank
Cherry Tomatoes on Vine
PREPARATION METHOD (15 min)
Wash the lamb shanks, drain and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Mix the herbs and salt together in a bowl, then rub the lamb shanks with the herb mixture.
Sprinkle 2 TBsp of flour over the lamb shank, ensure each piece is evenly coated with flour. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Wash the onions, leek and tomato. Then peel the onion, then chop coarsely.
Peel the garlic, and chop finely.
Cut the leek into 3 cm lengths.
Dice the tomatoes into small cubes.
Open the canned tomato paste and diced tomatoes.
COOKING METHOD (2h 30min)
Heat up 1 TBsp of olive oil over medium high heat in a non-stick pan.
Pan fry the lamb shanks (3 at a time) on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
Clean the pan with a kitchen towel, then add in 5 TBsp of olive oil over medium heat.
Add in the chopped onion and fry till limp.
Next add in the chopped garlic and tomato paste and fry until the oil turns slightly orange in colour.
Add in the bay leaves, cloves, leeks, ground black pepper, diced tomato and fresh tomatoes. Bring to a boil and transfer to a non-stick pot.
Then add in 1 TBsp flour to the pot, and mix well.
Top up with hot water to the pot, and add in the lamb shanks. Ensure that there is enough water covering all the lamb shanks.
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from getting burnt.
Add in the port wine in the last half hour of cooking. Use a fork to prick through the thickest part of the meat to test if it is tender or more time is needed. Add salt to taste.
Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh rosemary and cherry tomatoes on vine.
Use fresh tomatoes to add a more tangy flavour to the stew.
Make sure you get tomato paste, not tomato puree or tomato sauce for making the sauce. Of the three, tomato paste has the thickest and driest consistency. If you use tomato puree or tomato sauce, the lamb will not be as flavourful. We like to use the Hunt's brand of tomato paste.
For cooking purposes, use normal olive oil. Its a waste to use virgin or extra virgin olive oil for cooking, instead you should save them for use in salad dressings.
Make sure there is sufficient water in the braised lamb shank at all times, otherwise it will get burnt.
Add more water if the gravy dries up before the lamb shank is tender.
Conversely, turn heat to medium high to evaporate some of the gravy if the shank is already tender and the gravy is too diluted, but make sure you stand by the pot to keep stirring it otherwise the bottom will get burnt as the gravy thickens.
Do not use high heat to sautéed the tomato paste as the paste is thick and it gets burnt very easily and stuck to the bottom of the wok, ruining the entire dish.
Never overheat olive oil as it will lose its flavour.
WHAT POT SHOULD I GET?
The stewing time varies according to the type of pot used. It is best to use a pot that is less likely to dry up the stock quickly.In general, thick stainless steel pots are preferred for stewing and braising as compared to aluminium pots, because they are thicker and there is less direct contact with the heat source, so the gravy doesn't dry out as fast.For me, I prefer to use my stainless steel AMC pot which has a very thick base, so the water doesn't dry up so fast. Alternatively you can try using a thick non-stick pan.