We have had a great time finding butchers since our move to Auckland and while we are lucky to have a really nice one just around the corner from our house, a trip to Hamilton gave us a reason to stop off at the Pokeno Bacon shop and explore the butchery there. These lamb shanks were one of the delicious cuts of meat that we bought there. Looking forward to the next trip south, and the next excuse to stop off there!
This is a hearty dish that really fits with colder weather. The lamb falls off the bone of the lamb shanks, and the red onion reduction gives a nice hearty sauce that goes well with the lamb shanks, but also the kumara (sweet potato) mash.
- 2 lamb shanks
- 2 Tbsp rice flour
- Sea salt and pepper
- 1 tomato (ripe)
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 stalks of rosemary
- 1 cup water
- 1 large kumara (sweet potato) (500g)
- 1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half across the bulbs
- 3 Tbsp of coconut or other milk of your choice
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Heat a pot of water. Cut an X in the top of the tomato. Dip the tomato into the boiling water until the skin starts to peel off. Remove from the water and peel the tomato. Cut the tomato into small pieces.
- Heat a pan to a medium heat. Add the olive oil and 2 cloves of the sliced garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden. Add the tomato pieces and stir. Break the tomato up using a wooden spoon as it slowly cooks. Turn the heat down and allow the tomato to reduce to 1/3 of the starting amount (about 2 Tbsp). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Put the rice flour into a plastic bag and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the lamb shanks to the bag and shake the bag to coat the lamb shanks with the flour.
- Heat a frying pan with some olive oil in it to a medium heat. Add the lamb shanks to the pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the onion. Cook for around 5 minutes until the onion is cooked through and lightly browned. Add the other 2 cloves of chopped garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Add the balsamic vinegar and rosemary stalks and turn up the heat. Allow the balsamic vinegar to reduce for 2 minutes.
- Add the reduced tomato paste, and 1 cup of water to the pan. Allow to boil on a moderate heat for 3 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the lamb shanks to the pan. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook covered at 180 degrees celsius for 90 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and baste the lamb shanks by spooning the sauce over them. Cover the pan again and return it to the oven. Cook for another 45-60 minutes until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone.
- Cut the clove of garlic in half through the middle so that all of the garlic cloves have been cut in half. Add them to a roasting dish and place in the same oven as the lamb shanks are cooking in. Cook for around 30 minutes until they are roasted golden. Remove from the oven and set aside
- Meanwhile, cut the kumara into large pieces (do not peel it). Boil a pot of water and add the kumara with a little salt to the pot. Boil until the kumara is softened through.
- Remove the kumara from the pot and carefully peel the pieces. Add the peeled kumara to a foodprocessor. Remove the garlic from the garlic peel and add it to the foodprocessor. Add around 3 Tbsp of coconut milk and puree the kumara and garlic to a smooth paste. Add a little more coconut milk if required to get it to the desired consistency.
- Place the garlic kumara mash in the middle of the plate. Top with the lamb shank and some of the onion sauce.
- Serve with greens (we served it with pan fried asparagus with sesame seeds, but green beans or a salad would also be nice).
Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Blur – The Magic Whip