These are my mother's world famous lamb shanks. They are absolutely delicious, the meat literally falls off the bone. Serve with vegetables and mashed potatoes. Wonderful with Merlot! It just sets off the flavours. Fabulous to serve for a dinner party as you can socialise and get everything ready because they cook for so long.
A classic French Bistro recipe, and one that is SO easy to cook; the lamb in this recipe is cooked after 5 or 6 hours, but 7 hours is the traditional French timing for 'gigot a la cuillère' - a joint that can be carved with a spoon, hence its name!
You will need a very large ovenproof casserole with a lid or a large, deep roasting tin, which you can cover tightly with tin foil - or, this can be cooked with GREAT success in the crock-pot. This lamb is just divine when served alongside gratin Dauphinoise and steamed haricots verts. I add lots of garlic for quite a pungent flavour - adjust the garlic and seasonings to personal taste.
I love this recipe because I can make it the day before, it uses traditional and easy to grow herbs fresh from the garden and the vegetables are not exotic. Everyone seems to have their own version of this dish, but I think mine is special. I make for Sunday when we have neighbours round for a bottle ( or two) of wine and a casual lunch, so I can cook it slowly the day before and reheat it on the day. Because of slow cooking the vegetables melt and create a wonderful sauce. The meat falls off the bones. Keep it topped up with liquid while slow cooking. A real favourite on a winters day.
This recipe comes from "That's Trump" (one of the "Best of Bridge" series) with a few modifications. To me, this is one of those perfect recipes that I make time and again. I love the tomato and the seasonings. Just a hint of cinammon, a little bit sweet, and so full of flavour! I like to make it ahead and refrigerate. The flavour improves and that way I can take the fat off the surface. The original recipe suggests serving with coconut rice, but we love it with mashed potatoes.