This dish is simple, quick to prepare and can be simmered for up to 3 hours without coming to harm – the meat just gets more tender. It is unwieldy to make in large quantities though and having a couple of large pans on the cooker can be a nuisance. The shanks could be braised in a low oven, at 170C, 325F, gas 3.
3 tbs olive oil
4 lamb shanks
1 large onion, chopped
8 or more cloves garlic, peeled
bouquet of thyme and bay leaves
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered
2 sundried tomatoes, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
200ml white wine
300ml stock or water
Trim excess fat from the shanks. Heat the oil in a pan which will hold the shanks side by side and brown them on all sides. Add the onion and stir until it starts to colour, then put in the garlic, herbs and both lots of tomato; season with salt and pepper. Pour over the wine and stock. Bring slowly to the boil, cover tightly and simmer over very low heat for 1½ hours or until the meat is starting to come loose from the bone. Check the pot from time to time to see that it is simmering gently, and that it is not necessary to add a little more stock or water.
Remove the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes or so. The meat should be very tender and the sauce reduced. Skim off excess fat before serving. If there is still too much liquid, remove the shanks to a bowl and keep warm whilst you skim the cooking liquid and boil it down further over high heat.
A potato or celeriac mash would go well with this.