July 5, 2010
Lamb shanks with polenta
It has been drizzling rain in Sydney all day today. The house has a chill about it and yet my kids insist on living in shorts and t-shirts all year round. I am wondering if this is usual for kids who are brought up in cold climates in their formative years?
Whatever the case maybe, I know Max will never wear those beautiful jeans I bought him months ago and I can pretty much guarantee Alex won't even try them on when he is big enough to fit into them. The art of shopping is lost on my boys!
Ok so kids clothing and lamb shanks really have no connection, they were just the two thoughts in my head as I listen to the rain outside while I sit and wait for inspiration, trying to block out my husband's rendition of a Bruce Springsteen song......blah,blah, blah, I'm on fire....".
That's right folks, we have just finished gnawing on those lamb bones, we are feeling fat, happy and relaxed; perhaps one shouldn't blog straight after a meal as thought patterns seem to crash into one another and random songs get stuck in between!
You can't really go wrong with lamb shanks, a bottle of red, fresh rosemary and lots of vegetables all cooking together in a moderate oven with a few hours to kill. I managed to potter around in the kitchen yesterday afternoon while Nic took the boys to the park- kind of like releasing the hounds and watching them run wild for an hour or so.
Once the shanks were browned, I then cooked off my onion, carrot, celery, capsicum, garlic and rosemary until the aroma tickled my nose hairs and that was when I added a big dollop of tomato paste, reduced the temperature and slowly cooked it with the vegetables to deepen the flavour. Once the tomato paste was sticking to the bottom of my pot and it had a sweet smell about it, I added the shanks and then proceeded to pour in what was meant to be half a bottle of red, but instead got a bit carried away and only left enough for a glass and a half for the cook to drink. Never mind. I topped the liquid up with water so it was just covering the shanks and set it to boil. Once the pot was boiling, I skimmed away the foamy impurities that floated to the top, popped the lid on and put the whole lot in the oven on 180 (350) for 2 hours.
The smell was delicious I have to admit and I really didn't want to wait until today to eat them.
Thank god Nic was half way through cooking our dinner when I pulled them from the oven, otherwise it might of been a very different story!
There really is nothing so wonderful as coming home from work on a wet and dreary day, knowing you have a heart warming dinner awaiting you and all you have to prepare is some soft, thick and creamy polenta to help sop up the red wine sauce.
Did we enjoy our shanks? You betcha we did. Alex decided he isn't really a meat eater so ate the polenta with an extra helping of veggies and sauce, while his brother sitting across from him would of swallowed the whole bone if we hadn't removed it from him before he sucked all the marrow out!
Lamb shanks and soft polenta on a wet and dreary day are made for each other......