- 3 lamb shanks 550g each
- 1 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable cooking oil
- 1 brown onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp flour
- 18 oz flavorful lager or ale or red wine such as Shiraz or Cabernet
- 2 cups stock (beef or vegetable)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp dried thyme or 8-10 sprigs fresh
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (for gravy)
- 1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp cold water to make a slurry (for gravy)
FOR BRAISER OR DUTCH OVEN
- Preheat oven to 150°C
- Clean and rough chop all the veggies and garlic and set aside. Pat dry the lamb shanks and season them well with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in the braiser/Dutch oven (or a large heavy skillet) and sear the lamb shanks for about 2-3 mins on each side. Work in batches. Remove when nicely browned and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the veggies and garlic, stir them and let them soften for 4-5 minutes. Add the flour and the tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute.
- Deglaze with beer or wine, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the braiser (pan). Add the beef stock, the bay leaves, the thyme, the cumin and the brown sugar. Stir well, then place the lamb shanks into the liquid and increase the heat to bring to boil.
- Cover with lid and place in the oven for about 2 hours. Check them to see how tender they have become about an hour and a half in and braise for as long as needed after that, until they reach your desired tenderness.
- When the lamb shanks are done, remove them from the braising liquid (carefully, the meat will be very tender) and let them rest for a few minutes. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm if needed.
TO MAKE A GRAVY
- After removing the shanks skim the fat on top of the braising liquid with a spoon and discard. Strain the vegetables and herbs using a sieve and discard them, reserve the liquid.
- Heat the same pan where you cooked the shanks over medium heat, add the strained juices and the Dijon mustard and bring to simmer. Whisk to incorporate. Mix 1 tbsp corn starch with 2 tbsp cold water and add to the boiling liquid. Stir to thicken. Remove from heat.
- Transfer to gravy boat or place shanks back in to serve family style.
Serve with sides of your choice and top generously with gravy.