The weather this week has been pretty miserable, so although this is a very unseasonal dish, it fits perfectly with the climate in London at the moment.
Normally when I make a weeknight supper, I try and do something that I can pull together in 30mins or so I can walk home/go to the gym etc and we don’t eat too late. This morning I had some extra time on my hands so I decided to prep something and throw it in the slow cooker for a bit more of a special dinner tonight. Lamb shanks were what Dan requested so I set about getting them ready.
To start with I cut little slits all over the shanks and stuffed them with rosemary and chopped garlic , pushing it under the skin to infuse the flavours.
Then I melted some butter in a frying pan and browned the shanks to get a bit of a crust and some colour on them. I popped them into the slow cooker along with some extra garlic and rosemary, carrots, onions and the beef stock and left it to do its thing while I went about the rest of my day.
6hrs later I was back home and ready to finish off the meal. I’d decided on Honey Roasted Carrots, Cauliflower Mash and roasted garlic courgetti to accompany the meal with some roast potatoes for Dan.
I par-boiled the potatoes and roasted them in the oven at 180C on a baking tray with some oil, salt and pepper for about 30mins. For the carrots, I roasted them with some oil in the oven for about 10mins, then for the last 10mins, I brushed them with a bit of honey, seasoned them with some thyme salt and pepper and carried on cooking them. You can see the recipe for them here.
I had some left over spiralised courgettes from yesterday so I chopped some garlic, mixed the courgette and garlic with a bit of olive oil, spread this out on a baking tray and roasted these in the oven for 10mins.
Last was the cauliflower mash – you can see my recipe here. I steamed a whole head of cauliflower for about 10mins until it was tender. I then blitzed it all up in the food processor, adding a knob of butter and plenty of salt and pepper. It takes about 5mins to get a really smooth mash and you need to keep trying it and adding butter and seasoning until it’s to your taste…and the verdict? Dan said it was even better than mashed potato! BOOM! Result.
Once everything was ready, I pulled the lamb shanks out and put the cooking juice into a saucepan in the stove top to boil and reduce down and make a gravy. It felt like such a special meal that we decided to open a bottle of wine and picked the one that Dan’s brother Chris had bought me for my Birthday. He knew I liked the Bogle Californian Chardonnay so he bought me that along with a red, the Bogle Petite Sirah. We both agreed the wine was delicious and perfectly complemented the lamb, it was oaky, with vanilla and spice and jammy fruit flavours, and we’re on the look-out for a case now! It all felt a bit decadent for a weeknight, but it was nice to do something a bit different and extravagant.
The lamb was amazing, I could barely get it onto the plate in one piece as it was so close to falling off the bone. It was so tender and I loved every bite. The carrots didn’t taste enough of the honey glaze for me personally so next time I would bake them with more honey to try and improve the flavour. The garlic courgetti was absolutely delicious. Having never tried it before and only cooking it on a whim because I had some left over, I loved how some of the pieces crisped up in the oven and gave it some texture.