New cook books are great. New cookbooks I won by following the author on twitter are even better, especially as I hadn’t even realised there was a competition running!
I’m a real fan of a good stew. Hearty and comforting, full of warmth and good flavours and often made from inexpensive ingredients. What’s not to like?
Genevieve Taylor feels the same way and shares a wide range of recipes in her book Stew! released earlier this year.
Particularly appealing to those wanting inspiring yet frugal recipes, it didn’t take me long to decide which recipe to try first, though I have a feeling we’ll be trying quite a few through the cold winter months to come.
The recipe for lamb shanks with red wine and balsamic vinegar was very straightforward and the results were absolutely delicious. And it was just as frugal as promised, making use of a small pair of lamb shanks from Donald Russell, an inexpensive but perfectly drinkable red wine from Aldi, and an inexpensive bottle of balsamic vinegar from Waitrose.
This is definitely a recipe we’ll make again!
Enter my competition, below, to win your own copy of Stew!
Lamb Shanks with Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 4-6 lamb shanks (or 1 kg ox cheeks, see below)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 red onions , cut into wedges through the root
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 375 ml red wine
- 150 ml balsamic vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
Note: We had 2 lamb shanks, so halved all amounts in the recipe above.
Note: We used regular vegetable oil in place of olive oil.
Season the flour with salt and freshly ground black pepper. On a large plate dust the lamb shanks with the seasoned flour and toss to coat all over.
Heat the cooking oil in a heavy-based pan, with a lid, and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. This will take a good few minutes so don’t rush it as the flavour will be greatly improved if the shanks are well browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, add the onions and allow to soften and colour a little at the edges. Then add the garlic and rosemary and cook for just a minute.
Return the lamb shanks to the pan and pour over the red wine and balsamic vinegar.
Bring up to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook very slowly for 2 – 2.5 hours. You want the lamb to be so soft it is coming away from the bone. Turn the shanks every now and then to baste them in the juices.
Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve with herby mash potatoes.
Edit: The following week, I made this recipe again substituting a ox cheeks for the lamb shanks and it worked beautifully. I used a kilo of ox cheeks and the full amounts of everything else. I also allowed an extra hour for cooking, covered and then an additional half an hour uncovered to reduce the sauce a little further at the end. It was absolutely fantastic, just like the lamb shanks.