Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Irony & Lamb Shanks

I've had fairly interrupted sleep this week - Monday night I went to bed at 10.30pm & was woken by customers at 11.30pm (wanting to make a booking for tomorrow); 12.30am (uncertain as to whether she wanted someone or not) & 1.30am (I can no longer remember what this person wanted other than the fact that they could have waited until tomorrow). I was a little tired yesterday. Yes, I know all of you out there with kidlets are saying suck it up princess!

Last night I had a client call me at 12.30am undecided as to whether she could wait until tomorrow or not for the plumber & spent 5 minutes talking me through her showering routine. Seriously. None of which had any bearing on her actual plumbing issue.

Eventually I book her in for this morning & she leaves me all her contact details, including her mobile number, informing me that there would be no point calling before 8am, as she TURNS IT OFF WHILE SHE IS SLEEPING. I don't think she caught the irony of firstly arranging for me to call her between 7.00 & 7.30am to confirm her booking; nor the fact that I was wishing with all my heart that I too could leave my phone turned OFF WHILE I SLEEP!

Anyhoo. Last night for dinner, by request from Plumbing Boy, we had my aunties lamb shank recipe. My cuz & I went & visited her in country NSW in 2006 & she cooked the following recipe which was still written out on the original scrap of paper from that trip (I figured it was time I finally wordprocessed it).

She's got a bit of a thing for lamb shanks & has over 100 different recipes, but this is the one she cooked for us that trip & we've been making it every winter since. It's bloody delicious & very easy & I recon you should give it a crack.


4 Lamb Shanks
35 grams butter
2 tablespoons Oil
2 Onions Diced
2 tablespoons of plain flour
700ml Stock
500ml Port
2 Cloves Garlic
3 Juniper berries crushed
2 pieces Orange rind
Salt & Pepper
Bouquet Garni
180 grams prunes

# Brown shanks in butter & oil & set aside.

# Add Onions to butter/oil & season with salt & pepper, stir until soft.

# Add flour & stir for 1 minute.

# Add Stock, Port, Garlic, Juniper Berries & Orange Rind & bring to the boil.

# Add bouquet garni & return shanks to pan (or transfer the lot into a crock pot/slow cooker or oven proof dish).

# Cover & bake in oven @ 160 degrees for 3 hours or equivalent in crock pot/slow cooker.

# Stir in Prunes to warm at end (10 minutes before serving).

Last night I reduced the stock to 500mls as I like my gravy thicker than thinner & usually have to thicken it up a little & it was just perfect. We cooked ours for an extra 1 1/2 hrs, simply because we weren't ready to eat after 3 hours in the oven, although I did turn the temperature down to 150 deg C for that last bit. The Lamb was sooooo tender, just fell off the bone!

We had ours with mash & steamed broccoli & green beans. I bought myself one of those potato ricer sieve things & while the mash gets cold while you press it through & you have to reheat it, the mash is so smooth & creamy & yes you should be drooling by now! PB had first crack at using it on the weekend while I was visiting my sis & struggled with it. I need a couple more goes to work out which utensil is best to push it through the sieve & figure out how to best position it. I had it over a stainless steel bowl but it slipped about & was a pain in the arse. A flat surface would be best I think!

So. How do you make your mash AND what's your fave winter warmer din dins?


Ute said...

OMFG! Cat, you're KILLING me here!

Lamb shanks have always been a fave, well, 'cept for the last time I did them. For some reason, they were really fatty, and not nice at all. Even after slow cooking for 3 hours.

It's amazing how the old fashioned family favourites(and what used to be cheap) are now popular again.
Lamb shanks were the throw away part, or cheap buys for families who couldn't afford the more expensive lamb cuts. Now, they're more bloody expensive than buying your normal chops!

Similar, but not quite the same, I get some lamb forequater chops and slow roast them in the oven- sprinkled with home brand French onion soup mix. Fkn delish!
Served with mash tatty and broccoli etc.

My mash is basic, just boil the potatoes, in double steamer with other veg on top, and mash them with chicken salt and butter and fresh cut chives. Delish!

So hungry now.

AlleyCat said...

Thanks mate!

Ohhh forgot the ole forequarter chops!!! I used to make that back on the farm & put carrots in with it as well! Next week :0)

I know what you mean about the price of the bloody shanks!!!! Sometimes meat is just yuck & fatty no matter what you do with it. Very disappointing when you've gone to the trouble to do something nice with it.

Never thought of chicken salt in the mash!!! PB until recently has enforced the margaret fulton cookbook recipe he used when he moved out of home. Boil spuds, drain, put back on the stove top on low & shake until they almost stick (to get rid of excess moisture), mash with butter, then using a wooden spoon & only a wooden spoon, stir through hot milk. Fussy bugger he is LOLZ!

I think I'd better go make lunch now. starvin' marvin!!!!

Epic Fail said...

I've had several jobs where they'd call me at all hours of the night. It is stressful and bad for your health. One job, my boss called me while drunk right in the middle of a show I was watching. He didn't want anything specific except to be an ass. I told him I wanted to see the end of this show and since he didn't have anything to say I needed to go. He kept talking just to make me miss it. That's the kind of ass I usually end up working for.

Slyde said...

ive never been a big fan of lamb shanks, but i must say that i LOVE the new banner pic...! love it!

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

Lamb shanks are the reason why happiness exists.

One of them, anyway.

Now excuse me while I go and bribe my mom to make them for me.

AlleyCat said...

Hey Lemons! Hope your bribery worked!!!! thanks for the comment :0)