- 1 lamb shank per person.
- Red wine
- Balsamic vinegar
- Mushrooms, sliced.
- Onions, chopped and garlic, smashed- optional
- Prunes – optional.
- Tomato puree
- Cumin, ground and seeds.
- Coriander, ground and crushed seeds.
- Thyme – preferably lemon thyme
- Gram flour (chick pea flour)
- Proper salt.
- Bit of olive oil.
- Mix the ground cumin and coriander and some salt into the flour, then roll the shanks in the flour to coat.
- Heat a bit of olive oil in the cooking pot, and when warm, brown the shanks.
- If using onions, take the meat out of the pot and then sweat the onions in the oil.
- When the onions are suitably soft, add all the ingredients, not forgetting the browned meat, and bring to the boil.
- This dish can be either cooked on the stove top in a saucepan, using a heat diffuser, or it can be slow cooked in the oven, under 150°C, 300°F, Gas mark 2 for about 3 hours.
- Half an hour before eating – as about to start fiddling with the veggies, remove the lid and taste the liquid. More of the flavourings may need to be added if this has been stewing for much more than 3 hours, or it will taste rather bland. Then, leaving the lid off, cook for a further half hour to reduce the liquid and slightly brown it off.
For a real treat, serve with loads of mashed cauliflower – or other mashed veggies like bashed neeps (mashed swedes and carrots). Then the mash can be swizzled into the gravy and joy will be great.
Rather irritatingly I give no quantities for the red wine or the balsamic vinegar. This is for two reasons: if sloppy stews with loads of juice are liked, then add a generous amount of wine and a goodly splash of balsamic vinegar, with more seasoning; if drier stews are liked, or would rather drink the wine than cook with it, then use less wine and a bit less balsamic etc. If I didn’t have a bottle of red wine to hand that I was willing to sacrifice to a mere stew, then I would use Marsala wine instead, and have a drier stew. Otherwise stock could be used instead of wine. Water is another possibility.
To prune or not: well, if on a low carb regime or sugar sensitive, then no prunes. Really doesn’t matter. The main flavourings are the coriander, cumin, thyme and paprika. Ditto with the onions. As a non-onion eater myself, on the odd occasion when I have been unable to escape them, onions stewed for a long time actually have a fairly unpleasant taste – rather like sweaty socks. Not adding onions/garlic to a stew may well improve things.