I’ve been dying to do this post – waiting until I’d had all three dishes before I could reveal to the world this neat little idea. A couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe to cook up a stack of lamb shanks which I then made into three different meals. I really liked the idea and it was a great success.
So it goes like this…buy 8 lamb shanks and slow-cook them all in a gorgeous red-wine sauce. For the first meal you use 4 of the shanks as they are with the lovely sauce served with polenta and greens (shared this with my parents for our regular Monday night dinner).
Then you shred the meat from the remaining four shanks, mix back through the sauce and divide between two clip-top bags for freezing.
For the second meal split one of the bags of meat and sauce between two generous sized individual pie dishes, top with a dumpling crust (dead easy to whip up and really, really tasty) and bake in the oven to cook the crust. Serve with broccolini (or whatever you choose). The dumpling crust was a great change from the standard puff pastry lid – tastier, more substantial and much lower in fat.
For the third meal, defrost the last bag and use as a ragu sauce over pasta, sprinkled with a gremolata and served with a simple green salad.
I often make a large amount of something if it freezes well so that we can have it several times for the effort of making it once, but this recipe went one step further by providing the basis for three different meals from the one dish. I felt like we had the magic pudding – it just kept on giving.
You could easily do this with any recipe for shanks you like as long as you think you’d like the flavours in a pie and on pasta.
Red Wine and Herb Lamb Shanks (adapted slightly from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 51, Winter)
2 Tbl olive oil
8 x 250g lamb shanks (I didn’t weigh mine so don’t know if they were this size – they looked like big ones)
1 brown onion
6 cloves of garlic
6 sprigs each of thyme and oregano
2 Tbl of plan flour
500ml of red wine
1 litre of beef stock
Preheat oven to 180C. Heat 2tsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and brown shanks in batches, adding more oil as you need it. Place shanks in a large baking dish or roasting pan (you may need two dishes).
Add leeks, onion, garlic, thyme and oregano to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and stock and bring to the boil. Pour over shanks, cover and roast for two and a half hours, turning every 30 minutes.
Take pan from oven, remove shanks from the sauce and set aside. Boil sauce on stove-top until reduced and thickened to your liking.
First Meal – Serve shanks in sauce (use up to half of the sauce) with polenta and steamed greens and sprinkled with a mix of parsley, lemon rind and finely grated pecorino cheese, serves 4
Shred meat from remaining shanks and stir back through the remaining sauce.
Second Meal – Lamb Shank and Dumpling Pies, serves 2
Divide one portion of lamb and sauce between 2 x 375ml capacity oven-proof dishes. Combine 75g of self-raising flour, 2 tsp thyme, 80ml buttermilk (or the same amount of milk with 2 tsp of white vinegar, left to sit for 10 minutes) and a handful of grated sharp cheddar or pecorino and mix until smooth. Divide into two and spoon on top of lamb. Bake in 200C oven for 30 minutes. Serve with steamed greens of choice.
Third Meal – Lamb Shank Pasta, serves 2
Defrost one portion of lamb and sauce and reheat gently in saucepan. Meanwhile cook 200g of pappardelle in salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes. Add pasta to pan and toss. Serve sprinkled with gremolata (mix of finely chopped parsley, finely shredded lemon zest and finely chopped garlic).