The freshness of lemon and orange zest and juice in this slow-cooked dish adds an almost summery lightness, which when cooked in the colder months makes a lovely contrast to the heavier meatier braises.
4 lamb shanks
2 tbsp + extra olive oil
1 med. carrot, peeled & diced
1 onion, peeled & diced
2 sticks celery, diced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle with kitchen string
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
400 ml dry white wine
250 ml water
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 orange, zested & juiced
Salt & freshly cracked black pepper
1 x 400 g tin Butter Beans, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp Italian parsley, freshly chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based (cast-iron is best) braising pot and brown the lamb shanks; seasoning with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper. Reserve to the side.
- Pour a little extra olive oil to the pot and gently fry the diced carrot, onion, celery until softened.
- Add the thyme, bay leaves, garlic, tomatoes, wine and water along with most of the lemon and orange zest and juice.
- Bring to a simmer and then add the lamb shanks, positioning to fit snugly within the vegetable mixture. Add a little extra water if needed to just cover the shanks.
- Turn down to a very gentle simmer and with the lid on, cook for 3 hours until the meat is tender but not completely falling off the bone.
- Remove the shanks and reserve covered to the side.
- Bring the cooking liquid to the boil and reduce until the flavours intensify and is a little thicker in consistency.
- Stir through the butter beans and reserved citrus zest and juices and heat for 3 – 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve with freshly chopped Italian parsley.
- Use large chunks of lamb shoulder an alternate cut to lamb shanks to make a delicious stew.
- An alternate accompaniment to butter beans could be soft polenta, mashed potato or chickpeas.