100. Rioja-braised lamb shanks with chorizo & garlic

Home Cooking Made Easy p127

It seems fitting to be cooking the final recipe from the challenge today on New Year’s Eve. So fasten your seatbelts readers, (or passengers) for one final ride on the rollercoaster that is my Home Cooking Made Easy 2012 Challenge.

First, the sudden jerk away from the rollercoaster station which signals we have begun our journey – going to buy the ingredients. It turned out 8 people were coming to dinner, so buying 8 lamb shanks involved a trip to 4 different supermarkets, and a lot of money (thanks Mum!).

The first twists and turns (I’m going to stop the metaphor here, it’s really not helping) were felt when preparing the meat to go in the casserole. You need to season the lamb shanks all over which is done easiest in the box they come in:

2012-12-31 15.31.16Then brown the shanks (two at a time) in a large frying pan. Meanwhile, boil red wine and vinegar in a casserole dish, then add the lamb shanks with some garlic and bay leaves etc. Add them carefully, otherwise splashing may result.

2012-12-31 16.06.38I needed two casserole dishes for 8 lamb shanks. When the mixture comes back to the boil, put in the oven at 150’C.

It was at this point, I realised I had misread the recipe, and it was going to take 3 hours in the oven, not 2. With 1 hour left to go, add chopped carrot, chopped chorizo and red onion wedges. You may need to top up with a bit of water or stock at this point. Get someone (thanks Fi) to peel the potatoes and put in water. Put them on with half and hour to go to make mash. We also had peas, otherwise the meal would be entirely brown.

I found that after 2.5 hours, it was cooked, with the meat falling away from the bone.

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Serve a lamb shank, with mash, the gravy and vegetable stuff, and some peas!

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It was lovely and tender and sweet. The only hard work was the first half an hour browning the meat and preparing. So a perfect recipe to end the year on!

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