Lamb Shanks with Lentils or Beans!
It doesn't get better than fall apart tender lamb shanks, braised with healthy veggies and lentils in a tomato broth sauce with herbs. It's the perfect one-pot meal for a happy meal with family or friends! Should you have vegetarians at the table just cook and serve the lamb shanks with the herbs separately from the veggies; adjusting the broth, chopped tomatoes and seasoning accordingly. When doing this, you could add a little red wine to the meat to make it extra luxurious!
8 lamb shanks
2 tblsp sunflower oil
2 tblsp tblsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 cups (250g) coarsely sliced carrots
2 cups (250g) coarsely sliced celery
1 cup (200g) dry lentils or pre-cooked cannellini beans
400 g can crushed peeled tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth/stock
1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F).
In a large skillet, brown lamb shanks in hot sunflower oil and transfer to an oven-proof casserole. Pour olive oil into skillet and add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, lentils to skillet and sauté lightly. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano and mix. Bring to boil and pour over lamb shanks in casserole.
Add bay leaves and cover casserole with lid or aluminum foil. Place casserole in oven for about 1 ½ hours or until meat is fork-tender stirring once or twice during cooking.
You may add more broth or water to casserole during cooking if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve warm with country style bread or mashed potatoes.
If available, use fresh thyme or oregano, to taste
If you prefer, you may cook the lamb shanks in the chicken broth for about 45 minutes before adding the vegetables to the casserole. This will give you much crunchier vegetables.
If you prefer, you can use precooked or canned lentils or beans for this dish. In this case cook the veggies separately from lamb shanks. As the lentils or beans are cooked, just add them to the veggie mixture at the end. Serve separately or pour over shanks before serving.