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Third Date Lamb Shanks with Mash

High Roller Meals 63

The Scenario:

We’ve all been there. You’re at that critical third date and you somehow managed to run your mouth and ask the girl over to your place for dinner. What the fuck are you going to cook? Fear not. This is 1ManKitchen’s favorite secret weapon. Choosing lamb instead of beef or chicken is a sure-fire way to make yourself seem like a foodie. Plus, the rich sauce and mashed potatoes are perfect comfort food in cold weather- she’ll be relaxed and looking to cuddle up after this meal!

At first glance this recipe might look a bit complicated for the beginner. But with these instructions we know you can pull it off like superman! The end result should be lamb that just falls right off the bone- hopefully encouraging other things to “fall off” later on in the night.

What You Need:

2 lamb shanks

400g can of chopped tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, minced.

1 cup of red wine, merlot or cabernet sauvignon work best. (don’t go for cheap plonk, but there’s no need to go overboard either.)

1 brown onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1/2 cup celery, finely diced

2 cups of chicken stock (the liquid stuff that comes in a box is better than the cubes)

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp dried rosemary

2 dried bay leaves

2 tbsp plain flour

A good splash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

How To Do It:

1. Whack on the oven to 350F/180C and let it do it’s thing while you get to work.

2. Put your flour, a good pinch of salt and a generous sprinkling of pepper into a plastic or ziplock bag. Pop in the lamb shanks, seal tightly and shake the crap out of it until the shanks are coated.

3. Find your heaviest pot and heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on high until you can see steam coming off it. Put your lamb shanks in and try your best not to splash hot oil all over yourself. You’re basically trying to “seal” the shanks in this step, so when one side is lightly browned, grab some tongs and keep turning them around until they’re all done (this should take about 5 minutes but stoves can vary, so don’t panic if it takes longer). If you find that the flour is sticking your shanks to the pot, add a splash more oil and give the pot a good shake.

4. Put your lamb shanks to one side and dump out all the fat and goo from the pot (don’t worry about scraping out the brown bits). Add a bit more oil, the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and let that go for about 10 minutes, giving it a bit of a stir. The onion should be clear by this point.

5. Add your red wine to your veggie mixture and wait until it starts simmering (bubbling a bit, but not totally boiling). While you’re waiting you can scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot, mixing them into the wine.

6. After about three minutes of simmering, you can chuck in all your other bits and pieces- the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, rosemary, chicken stock and a bit more salt and pepper.

7. Put your lamb shanks back in the pot, making sure they’re covered by the liquid. Bring it back up to a simmer again and then throw the whole pot into the oven for 2 and a half hours. You can give your shanks a turn about 30 minutes from the end of cooking if you remember, but the world will not implode if you forget.

8. Take your pot out of the oven, fish around in there for your bay leaves and throw them out. Carefully take out your lamb shanks and put them on a plate while you give your sauce a good whisk or aggressive stirring. If it’s looking a bit too thick, add a bit of hot water.

Serve your creation with mashed potatoes and maybe some green beans or broccoli. Open up a nice bottle of red and get ready for your date to look at you like you’ve just discovered the cure for cancer.

Charlotte is an Australian freelance writer and web designer, currently based in the remote wilderness of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. She studied Journalism and Public Relations in Sydney before moving to the middle of nowhere to work for a non-profit organization. She is a passionate environmentalist, a news junkie and enjoys long walks on the beach...

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