Lamb Shanks, the perfect “One Pot Wonder”

One Pot Wonders are probably one of the most satisfying things to cook when you don’t own a dishwasher and therefore have to wash everything by hand. I detest the washing up process, so much so that I get overwhelmingly excited about any recipe which involves meat, one pot and a good meal.

It’s no surprise then that lamb shanks are one of my most all-time favourite dinners; easy to cook, you only need one big pot, they are delicious, versatile and aren’t an overpriced cut of meat. The only negative is the time they take to cook and I often get impatient waiting for the meat to tenderise and reach a “fall off the bone state”, but having said that I suppose that patience is a virtue for a reason, and perfectly cooked lamb shanks are a fitting reward for one’s patience.

This recipe is simple for the very fact that the meat speaks for itself. I love to make a big batch of these beauties and reward myself with leftovers at work the next day, suffice to say your co-workers will be very jealous of their boring and unsatisfying sandwiches come lunchtime.

Serves four (or two if taking the leftovers to work)

My version of lamb shanks and couscous

My version of lamb shanks and couscous

The List:

4 good sized lamb shanks

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely sliced (think potato chips)

3 bay leaves

1 Tbs rosemary, leaves removed from stalk

4 sticks of thyme, leaves removed from stalk

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 cup passata

1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups couscous

Handful of Italian flat leaf parsley


The Method:

  1. Season your shanks with salt and pepper
  2. Heat some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot large enough to fit all of the shanks and cook on a high heat until lightly browned
  3. Remove shanks from the pan, lower the heat to medium and put onion and carrot into your pot, cooking until translucent
  4. Add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
  5. Add wine and allow to come to the boil, de-glazing the bottom of your pan
  6. Once wine is boiling add passata, balsamic vinegar, stock and herbs. Bring liquid back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and add the shanks to the pot (along with any juices off the plate)
  7. Put a lid on the pot and cook on a low simmer for 2 1/2 hours, the meat should spring back off the lamb shank’s bone to one end of the bone
  8. About 10 minutes before the shanks are done, place couscous into a bowl and using a ladle, remove  2 cups of the pot’s liquid
  9. Pour over the couscous 1 cup of boiling water and the stock, cover with cling film and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Lightly fluff with a fork when done.
  10. Serve with a generous spoonful of couscous topped with a tender lamb shank and some chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Best enjoyed with a big glass (or two) of red wine. Enjoy!

One Pot Wonder heaven!

One Pot Wonder heaven!

A real winter warmer, perfect for cold, dark nights

A real winter warmer, perfect for cold, dark nights

Recipe adapted from Exclusively Food

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