Lamb Shanked

Sunshine!  In autumn!  We’ve paid for it with a night of unstoppable rain, the park was a bit of a mudbath as a result, but instead of being lazy-arsed as usual we’ve been motivated to get up, to the park and other such things.  The highlight has been a visit to Homebase where I wandered around thinking, ‘I had no idea my life would reach such brilliant heights’ as I searched fruitlessly for an oven thermometer.

Boyfriend is fixing something on 2 of his 5 bikes, dog is hopefully searching for bits of dropped chicken from lunch, and I’ve two banana breads no doubt burning a horrible death in ShitOven.

Time to blog.

This is a delicious thing adapted from something that overtly glamorous and unrealistically clean lady, Lorraine Pascale, did on her tellybox show a while ago.  Have made it a couple of times, is bloody good, and here’s my version for two people.


Obviously double or triple amounts if you’re cooking for more than two.

Lamb shanks, preferably from a nice kind of butcher

Red onion

Rosemary, couple sprigs

Bay leaves

Carrots (I used 2)

Peppercorns, bout 6 or so



Parma ham or pancetta (Lovely Lorraine Pascale uses chorizo but I decided not to risk the 3-months out of date stuff we had in the fridge)



Paprika (Lovely Lorraine Pascale uses normal, but I used smoked) – a good teaspoon

Beef stock, bout 500ml

Balsamic vinegar, bout 125ml


Tear the ham into little stips and fry off in some seasoned olive oil.  I kind of mush them down a bit with a wooden spoon as I want the flavour rather than the actual lumps of cured pig flesh.


In a nice big casserole dish (one with a lid, please), brown your lamb shanks, seasoning a bit with pepper if you fancy it. I always fancy pepper, bit like I think I might always slightly fancy Luke Goss from Bros.  We all have our shameful secrets.


Whilst the shanks are browning, gather your fun stuff – a whole garlic sliced in half, couple sprigs of rosemary, bay leaves (I used 3 as mine were dessicated and ancient, but you may not need that much if yours are fresh), peppercorns and paprika.


When the shanks are browned enough in your eyes, add 2/3 of the stock, about 300ml of rioja, the balsamic, paprika, garlic, bay leaves etc etc.

Basically add everthing bar the onion and carrots.  Bring to a simmer on the stovetop.


Above is my second-favourite souvenir from Italy – we bought a couple of takeaway sodas on the beach in San Benedetto del Tronto, and the lady at the bar gave us the bottles with these bottle tops on, for travelling.  Obviously we’ve kept them and they are already coming in handy.  Italy, you are amazing.

*looks fondly at tiny yellow plastic lid*

Anyway put the lid on the dish and chuck it into an oven on at about Gas Mark 3 (moderateish, not too hot) for 1.5hrs.  If you’re cookingmore than two shanks I’d up this to about 2 hours at least.


After this time add the roughly chopped carrots and onions and add the rest of the stock.  I also added a bit more water, you might also want to, but then again you probably don’t have a ShitOven so don’t need to take precautions in quite the same way.

Back in the oven for another 30-40 minutes.

Serve with mash potato, or whatever you like, really.

Best eaten when it’s pissing with rain outside, and a good few hours before bedtime, unless you enjoy hours of sleeplessness due to whale-like proportions.

I’ve got to go save the banana breads, I can hear them screaming.  Really, you’re so lucky you can’t hear how I speak to ShitOven, it’s very rude indeed.



4 thoughts on “Lamb Shanked

  1. narf77 says:

    All an oven thermometer is going to do is depress you! I bought one…a nice one that hangs on your oven racks and peers myopically from its hanging position with its little round moon face and tells lies. Aside from paying too much for this little piece of kitchen gadgettry it couldn’t handle the heat of the kitchen and as the old saying goes, it should get out! The last I looked at it, it had fallen off the oven rack (shows how much I bother to look at it now…I hadn’t noticed…) and was welded onto the tray that we keep on the bottom shelf of Brunhilda in a morass of something sticky that I had overlooked and had to be carefully soaked off by Steve because I could care less if it lives or dies and he is thrifty about things that we paid too much for and that don’t work and is trying to see if it will play ball now that he saved it from certain doom.

    Tell “boyfriend” to wear a bike shirt with “boyfriend” on it should he ever decide to head down under and treddle the humble state of Tasmania because we are some of those horrible people in cars that think that we deserve a place on the road (not languishing at 20km/hour behind a pod of wanker cyclists) and tend to be a little rude to cyclists who think that they own the world. The shirt will gain him a degree of angst free cycling should a small white 4 x 4 come across him weaving his way along the median strip on the tiny lanes around where we live

    Its people like Lorraine Pascale who made lamb shanks a luxury. I remember when we practically lived on them when we were kids and they were cheap as chips here in Australia. They are now up there with truffles and totally unafordable. Great for the farmers but not so great for we consumers. Lucky Steve hates lamb and I am a vegan eh? 😉

    Thats a gorgeous kettle by the way. I have kettle envy. I have been trying to find a good kettle to let sit on Brunhilda for the entire winter without constantly boiling dry or burning to death from the heat. I am also looking at that mound of perfect mash and thinking that mash might be on the menu tonight. No shanks but something piled high on a delicious silky slump of mash is most definatly on the cards as this week is promising to be as lovely as your wet summer was here in Tasmania. Cheers for another great recipe and for installing potato lust in me for the rest of the day 🙂

    • b-kom says:

      Did you have mash?

      I wanted an oven thermometer to test how hot ShitOven really does get. I’m guessing hellish….

      • narf77 says:

        I could have sent you my shit oven thermometer to go with your shit oven…it would seem somehow fitting wouldn’t it? ;). Mash EMMMMM! 🙂

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