Braised Lamb Shanks with Cannellini Beans
This is delightfully simple as everything goes into one pot, no accompaniments are needed, and it provides a complete menu for two people. It is also very good with flageolet or borlotti beans to ring the changes.
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You will also need a lidded, flameproof casserole with a capacity of 4 pints (2.25 litres).
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three.
Begin by skinning the tomatoes. Place them in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water on to them. Leave them for exactly a minute, then remove them and slip off their skins (protecting your hands with a tea cloth if they are hot). Or click here to watch how.
Then chop them fairly roughly.
Next, using a potato peeler, remove the worst of the stringy bits from the celery and cut it into 2 inch (5 cm) chunks.
Now pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).
After that, you need to heat the oil in the casserole over a highish heat. Then, season the lamb shanks with salt and freshly milled black pepper and, when the oil is really hot, brown them on all sides, holding them at the bone end while protecting your hand again with the tea cloth, and turning them round in the hot oil.
When they’re nicely browned, remove them to a plate and, keeping the heat high, add the celery, onion and carrots and brown them as well, turning and tossing them around for about 6 minutes.
Now stir in the garlic, cook for one minute, then add the drained beans and give everything another good stir.
Next, add the tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, chopped rosemary and some seasoning.
Then, finally, place the lamb shanks on top and when everything is beginning to simmer, cover with the lid and transfer the casserole to the oven to braise very slowly for 3 hours.
Serve garnished with the sprigs of rosemary.
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Neck fillet of lamb provides very sweet meat that responds perfectly to long, slow cooking and if you add pre-soaked dried green flageolets to cook alongside it these, too, absorb the sweet flavours of the lamb.
You could make this at any time of the year, but in Delia's view autumn lamb gives the most flavourful results. Serve it with plenty of mashed potato and root veg.
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