I’m talking Italian favours not imported shanks. This is simple peasant cooking, wholesome and hearty. The lamb shank makes a really easy to prepare, low cost and tasty dinner, so long as you have the time to cook it. The best shanks will spend at least 4 hours in a low to moderate oven.
Lamb shanks, trimmed of fat
1 tbsp Tomato paste
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp sugar
Green beans*, top and tail
Parsley to garnish
Preheat the oven to 160c
Ideally you have a casserole dish (with a lid) that does both stove top and oven, so you brown the shanks in a casserole dish with olive oil and pepper. Then set shanks aside.
Lower heat, sweat the leeks and add the carrot in the same dish.
Add the tomato paste and tomatoes, sugar, salt, then herbs (which can be left on their stick or removed an chopped), stir the sauce.
Add the shanks back to the pot, make sure they are covered with the sauce. You may add a bit of water or stock.
Put the lid on and put in the oven for a minimun of 3 hours.
Check on it half to hourly, if the sauce is drying out, add a little bit of water or stock.
About 30 mins before serving, add the beans so they cook in the pot, or you can steam them separately.
Serve on a bed of parmesan polenta with a sprinkle of parsley.
* I forgot to add the beans to the one pictured (they were still waiting in the colander after everyone had finished dinner, so you can leave them off completely too if you wish)