I’m currently on the Autoimmune Protocol, a nutrient-rich elimination diet that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. You can read more about the protocol and why I’m doing this here.
Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know? (Julia Child)
Do you know my all-time MOST popular post ever? It is the one about Jamie Oliver and His BEST EVER Pukka Spiced Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks. Even today, it remains in my top three posts for hits.
And, in fairness to Mr Oliver, it is an awesome lamb shank recipe. Seriously pukka, even! But, given the chilli and tomatoes that are kind of central to Jamie’s dish, this is one recipe that definitely doesn’t fit the Autoimmune Protocol ‘rules’.
Down here in Sydney-town, the temperature has suddenly dipped a little as we head towards winter. And, on Saturday night I had a good friend coming for dinner. I happen to know she loves lamb shanks, so it seemed like just the time to amend Jamie’s recipe to meet my AIP needs.
And – I gotta tell you – they were RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! This is a great recipe to make over the weekend. I think there’s something quite therapeutic about chopping up all the veggies, and all that long, slow cooking makes the house smell so inviting.
Plus, once the dish is in the oven, there’s not much to do – there are loads of vegetables in the dish, so while I think serving your shanks on a bed of mash is recommended, you don’t really need any more greens unless you’d like the meat to stretch further.
And, as I tend to do with all my braises, I took my meat off the bone. I think it goes further this way. Of course you can choose to leave your shanks whole if you prefer.
We had our shanks with a celeriac and parsnip mash. YUM!
RIDICULOUSLY GOOD Herbed Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks
4-5 x large lamb shanks (I managed to squeeze 5 large shanks into my le Creuset)
1 x tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
1 x tablespoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)
sea salt and (optional) freshly ground black pepper
1 x teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1 x teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 x tablespoon fat (I used beef tallow)
2 x large carrots (quartered and diced)
4 x sticks celery (quartered and diced)
1 x large leek, washed and finely sliced
2 x large onions (finely chopped)
2 x garlic cloves (chopped)
2 x tablespoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
2 x tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I use this one)
100 ml dry Verjuice
6 x anchovy fillets
250 ml Bone broth (or stock)
Handful flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
- Heat your oven to 180°C/350°F. I start by washing and chopping all my vegetables. Put aside in a large bowl.
- Throw chopped rosemary, thyme, dried oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper into your mortar and pestle. Give it a good bash. Rub the shanks in this mixture, pressing it in well. I find the best way to do this is to place your meat in a large plastic bag. Pour the herb mixture in and give it a good shake, ensuring each shank gets a good covering of the rub.
- Heat a thick-bottomed casserole pan, add your fat of choice and – when the fat has melted – brown the meat on all sides in batches and remove from the pan.
- Add the carrot, celery, onions, leek and garlic along with the extra chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt and sweat them until softened (about ten minutes).
- Add the apple cider vinegar and allow it to reduce to a syrup.
- Pour in the verjuice and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the anchovies and then add the bone broth. Shake the pan and return the lamb to the casserole. Shimmy the shanks around to get a nice fit.
- Bring to the boil, put on the lid and pop in the oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours to work its magic. Then, remove the lid and cook for a further half an hour.
- If you want to take the meat off the bone, now is the time to do so. Carefully remove your shanks from the casserole. Using two forks, gently pull the meat from the bone. It should fall away. Once shredded, the meat can be returned to the casserole. I also take care to ensure I have removed all the marrow from the bones and pop that back into the dish.
- Taste for seasoning. Finally, stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley.
E N J O Y !
Trying something new here at TSL – I’ve linked this recipe in the Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable. It’s chock full of people also on this crazy regime of removing anti-inflammatory foods to heal…
*Don’t worry, Missy K – I didn’t drop the lamb!