Spanish-style lamb shank casserole


First published in 2015
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It’s almost spring, and time to celebrate one of our best home-grown British ingredients, spring lamb. We are big lamb lovers in our household, from an impressive roast leg of lamb to Monday leftovers; it’s always welcome on our family dinner table.

Although I love the usual leg of lamb and lamb chops, it’s lamb shanks that have taken pride of place lately; we find that two large shanks feed a family of four with ease, and sometimes there are leftovers too. Lamb shanks used to be the poor man’s cut of meat, but they have made a big revival lately, which is all to the good.

Lambs shanks are also juicy and full of flavour – it’s almost as if the flavour has been concentrated in this small cut of meat! The meat falls off the bone after being slow cooked and as well as being a fabulous “small roasting” joint, the meat is perfect for pies as well as stews and casseroles.

The recipe I am sharing today is for a Spanish inspired casserole – two large lamb shanks are cooked in a spicy broth with chorizo sausage, tomatoes, onions, carrots and hot pimento. The meal is cooked in a slow-cooker (although you can cook it in a low oven) and is served with piles of mashed sweet potatoes. Great British Chefs also have some handy guidelines on how to cook lamb shanks.

Any leftovers can be frozen, although I think you’ll find that it will all be polished off in one sitting! One tip, lamb is a fatty meat, as are chorizo sausages, so you need to skim the fat off the casserole and maybe decant it into another dish before serving it.




Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then coat the lamb shanks in flour and add them to the pan – fry them over a high heat until golden brown, turning them half way through
Set the lamb shanks to one side and add the chorizo, carrots, onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the chorizo sausage has released its oil and the vegetables are tinged with brown. Put the chorizo and vegetables into a slow-cooker (or a casserole dish) and add the spices and the tinned tomatoes
Fill the empty chopped tomato tin with water and add that to the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper
If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 6 to 8 hours and then keep warm for up to 2 hours
To cook in a conventional oven: pre-heat oven to 170°C/gas mark 3 and cook in a covered casserole dish for 3 to 4 hours depending on the size of the shanks
Before serving, skim the fat off the surface and decant to another serving dish if you prefer. Serve immediately with mashed sweet potatoes. (The meat just falls off the bone, so divide the meat and the casserole broth between the diners)
First published in 2015
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