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I know, I know – this ain’t no food blog and today I’m going to give you the second recipe in a week but, hear me out. Please…

1. We’ve been buying some of our meat from Tony Bilson at Home by Moobi Valley Farm. It’s very good – albeit expensive – and my usual man at Eveleigh Markets on Saturday mornings is both gorgeous and enthusiastic about his product. The thing is – when we tried the lamb shanks, LM said mine were better. (Go me!)

2. It’s almost brass monkey weather here – by Sydney standards, anyway. That means I’m busy making stocks and soups and nothing beats a great lamb shank meal in cold weather.*

3. In this world of fast food and jumbo soft drinks, I reckon Jamie Oliver’s quest to educate kids into becoming more aware of what they put in their mouths is laudable. He’s fighting an uphill battle. Some mornings he must get up and wonder why he’s bothering, given the reactions he has received from some communities. Yet, he believes in what he’s doing and so he sticks at it. Go Jamie!

Give your kids a bloody knife and fork and let me put some fresh food in front of them they can eat. (Jamie Oliver)

And, you know what? His recipes work. Every time. They’re not fussy or complicated but they taste great. I’m a believer…

Jamie Oliver The Naked Chef

Jamie Oliver ‘The Naked Chef’

So, with that in mind. Tonight I’m making Jamie’s Spiced Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks for LM. THEY ARE SO GOOD! The recipe is from his first ever cookbook, ‘The Naked Chef’. I’m possibly showing my age when I say it was first published in 1999 and I’ve been cooking from it since then. (It’s official – I’m old!)

If Obama wanted to make radical changes to America’s health long-term, all he has to do is treble the price of sugar and salt. (Jamie Oliver)

Jamie Oliver's Spiced Slow-cooked Lamb Shanks

Jamie Oliver’s Spiced Slow-cooked Lamb Shanks
(Image sourced from here)

Jamie Oliver’s (BEST EVER Pukka) Spiced Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

4 x lamb shanks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x teaspoon coriander seeds
1 x small dried red chilli (or 2 teaspoons fresh chilli)
1 x tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
1 x teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1 x tablespoon flour
1 x tablespoon olive oil
1 x clove garlic, finely chopped
1 x large carrot, quartered, finely, sliced
6 x sticks celery, quartered, finely, sliced
2 x large onion, finely chopped
1 x tbsp fresh rosemary
2 x tbsp balsamic vinegar
170 ml dry white wine
6 x anchovy, fillets
2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
1 handful fresh basil, roughly, chopped (I prefer continental parsley)

  1. Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Smash up the coriander seeds and dried chilli and mix with the dried marjoram. Roll the lamb in this mixture, pressing it in well. Dust the lamb with the flour.
  3. Heat a thick-bottomed casserole pan, add the oil, brown the meat on all sides and then remove from the pan.
  4. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, onions the chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt and sweat them until softened.
  5. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow it to reduce to a syrup.
  6. Pour in the white wine and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the anchovies (these really seem to intensify the lamb flavour) and then add the tinned tomatoes, kept whole. Shake the pan and return the lamb to it.
  8. Bring to the boil, put on the lid and simmer in the oven at 180 C/350 F for 1.5 – 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook for a further half an hour.
  9. Skim off any fat and taste for seasoning. Finally, stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil, marjoram or flat-leaf parsley.

NB – If you don’t have any white wine handy, I use a mixture of verjuice and stock. The cookbook says it serves four, but if you take the meat off the bones and shred it, it will easily make it to five. I serve this off the bone with either mash, cous cous or rice.


‘The Naked Chef’ is available from Amazon here.

*For all you readers from the Northern Hemisphere who would rather a summer mango daiquiri recipe – sorry! Maybe you could bookmark this for six months time?