Monday, June 7, 2010

Dark and moody: Lamb Shanks with Leeks

You know, I like to keep things light and bright around here, picture-wise. So this is a slight departure from the norm.

The reason is the recent 3 whole weeks of non-stop rain. Rain, rain, go away, already!!  And the rain has now been replaced by a wind chill in the single digits - so we all need something to warm us up.  Oh how I wish I had a lovely (real) fireplace - the house I live in was built in 1890, so it probably had one originally, prior to its 21st century makeover...

Anyway, here is a recipe for heart-warming lamb shanks with white wine and leeks.  It's adapted from Jamie Oliver, to highlight the northern hemisphere spring lamb, but it works just as well for us chilly southerners below the equator.

Lamb Shanks with white wine and leeks
serves 2

1 leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tblsp smoked paprika
2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped
Olive oil
2-3 lamb shanks
1/2 bottle of white wine
1/2 head of garlic, broken into cloves, unpeeled
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 bunch of thyme

1.  Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and celery and soften for 5 minutes.
2.  Mix the paprika, mint, some sea salt and pepper, and a drop or two of olive oil. Rub over the lamb shanks before placing snugly into the pan with the leeks.
3.  Pour over the wine, then add the garlic cloves, chilli and thyme. The lamb shanks should be almost covered with liquid - if not, top up with water or vegetable stock.
4.  Bring liquid to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 2 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.
5.  Serve with roast potatoes or rice.

Recipe adaped from Jamie magazine

Some of the ingredients - lots of wintery (or spring-y) lamb and vegetables.

Meat is falling off the bone, as per the recipe. 
I also added some Chinese cabbage (wombok) to the pan

A comforting dish, perfect for eating in front of an imaginary fireplace.


  1. Well done Belle! I know you want the rain to go away but THOSE LAMB SHANKS - are THE BEST I've seen in a looong time... I think this is perfect rainy weather food. I don't want the rain to leave now!

  2. It's really hard to make brown lumps on meat on a bone look good but you have succeeded. This meal looks great and I would love to be chomping on one of this in this cold weather.

  3. We have a fair share of rain lately, too. :(

    But that hearty dish surely can lift anyone's mood up. Great recipe.

  4. Perfect winter food, thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  5. Now that's my kinda Shank lol!! Perfect for this miserable rainy weather :)

  6. I've been wanting to cook lamb shakes for so long now, have to get around to it this winter as lamb shanks I think are better suited for the cold days =)

  7. i've never cooked lamb shanks but this looks devine, especially for winter. well done :-)

  8. Brrr!! Hope that you get some sunshine and warmth soon. Unfortunately I can't send you any from Melbourne because it's pretty miserable down here as well!

  9. I've only cooked lamb shank with red but not white wine. This is such a hearty dish that matches perfectly for the cold weather.

  10. Oh yeah! I'll spend all the time in the kitchen to make this on a rainy day. It looks so delicious.

    "perfect for eating in front of an imaginary fireplace" <= your a funny lady!

  11. This weather sooo calls for this dish!! Mmmmm I can imagine that meat falling off the bone *droool*

  12. This dish is what makes winter so much more bearable. Lovely work! You've warmed my insides with these photos! (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact I'm summering it up still)

  13. Just discovered your blog - lovely photography and lamb shanks are sooo my favourite in winter!

    I just did Jamie Oliver's sticky spiced shanks and a shank and barley soup. I love the look of this one, think I'll bookmark for my next shank attack :)

  14. Mmmmm... I know I'll be craving something like that when I get back home. I hate the cold and wet weather Winter brings but love the comforting food it brings