It's getting to that time of year where we like to hunker down by the fire and get a good dose of our favourite comfort food. Comfort food doesn't have to mean calorie laden though, it can also be healthy. Try out my recipe for lamb shanks, you still get the comfort food but without the guilt.
Slow cooked lamb shanks with winter vegetables and mash
2 forequarter lamb shanks
2 sprigs each of thyme & rosemary
1 Bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
4 small tomatoes
2 small sliced carrots
2 small wedges each of sweet potato and pumpkin
2 sliced swiss brown mushrooms
1/4 cup of peas
2 tblsp of red split lentils
salt & pepper
Splash of red wine
2 serves of mashed potato
Season the shanks with salt & pepper and coat with a little plain flour, shaking off any excess. Then add a tbsp of oil to a heavy based pan and seal the shanks until they are nicely browned on all sides. Deglaze your pan with the wine and add your shanks to a deep ovenproof dish with the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and chicken stock. Pour in the stock until it just covers the shanks. Now it's also time to add the garlic, tomatoes and mushrooms, cover with a tight fitting lid and place into an oven that's been pre-heated to 160C.
After 2 hours add the remaining vegetables and lentils and return to the oven for another 1 hour. By this time the meat should be falling off the bone and the vegetables soft. Strain off the sauce if you like and add to a saucepan and reduce by half, this makes it really rich and sticky.
To serve place the mash potato in the centre of the bowl, add the shank and spoon over with the sauce before adding the vegetables.