Lamb shanks, I don’t reckon I’ve ever had a baddie. And with the crispy cool weather we’ve had lately in ol’ Sydney I thought it’d be great to have a go at making some myself rather than heading to a pub. I got the recipe from the Taste site and the only changes I made was adding some green beans to the sauce at the end and serving on a bed of soft polenta. Also this sauce is enough if you cook four shanks instead of two, I had heaps of leftovers and plan on using the extra to braise some pork sausages in later in the week.
- 2 lge lamb shanks, French-trimmed
- GF plain flour (to dust shanks only)
- Salt and pepper
- olive oil, for frying
- 1 lge brown onion, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 x 400g cans Italian diced tomatoes
- 1 lemon, finely grated rind
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- lge handful fresh green beans, headed and tailed and chopped in half
- 1 cup polenta (I uses Sostanza)
- 2 cups beef/vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Lightly coat the lamb shanks with flour, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish over a medium high heat. Add the shanks and cook until well browned on all sides. Then set the shanks aside whilst you get the sauce happening.
Turn down the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until soft.
Add the tomatoes, lemon rind, lemon juice and white wine to the pan. Stir until well combined. Return the shanks to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the thyme sprigs. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour. Check the sauce at the half way point to make sure that the oven hasn’t gobbled it all up, if it’s looking too depleted just add a little more water/stock for safety sake.
Remove the casserole from the oven. Add the cannellini beans and stir until well combined. Cover and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
Now in a medium sauce pan with the dry polenta and a little salt, whisk in the stock and keep stirring on a medium to low heat. Once the stock is mostly absorbed gradually add the hot water and keep whisking. This should take around 15/20 minutes or so depending on how quickly the polenta softens and absorbs the liquids.
Take the casserole dish out and add the green beans, pop back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Serve your tasty shanks on a bed of Polenta, spoon on heaps of the sauce and beans, don’t be shy.
Handy Hint: if you polenta looks too stodgy or dry when you go to plate up, no worries mate, just add a little more stock/water and mix through on a low heat, will be right as rain in no time. Polenta is super forgiving its real tough to muck it up :)