BY DANIEL HARRISON
The two parts of this dish both work very well as standalone dishes. Serve the lamb with a basic creamy mash for the perfect simple supper, or add a little more stock to the lentils for a knockout warming soup. But pair the two together as they are here and you have the ultimate bowl of winter comfort.
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 Large Lamb Shanks
2 Brown Onions, roughly chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, whole, crushed
1 tbsp Sherry Vinegar
4 Sprigs Rosemary
500mL Chicken Stock
1. Preheat the oven to 130°C. Season the lamb shanks with salt & pepper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over a high heat. In batches, brown the lamb shanks, turning frequently until well caramelised all over. Remove the shanks to a plate & reserve.
3. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions & garlic. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions start to caramelise.
4. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar then add the porter. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until slightly reduced.
5. Add the lamb shanks back to the dish along with the rosemary & chicken stock.
6. Place the lid on and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours until the lamb shanks are extremely tender.
7. Carefully remove the lamb shanks to a plate. Place the casserole back on the hob over a high heat and reduce the sauce to a thick gravy. Add the lamb shanks back in to warm through just before serving.
1. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the diced bacon and cook slowly for around ten minutes until the bacon is brown & crispy and some of the fat has rendered out into the pan.
2. Use a slotted spoon to strain the bacon on to a plate & reserve whilst leaving the rendered fat in the pan ready for the shallots. Turn the pan down low, add the shallots and cook slowly for 15 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, reserved bacon and beer. Increase heat to medium and simmer until beer is almost evaporated. Add the stock & thyme and simmer gently for 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked.