Turkish Style Lamb Shanks

This Turkish stew for lamb shanks is just what I needed, after a few days with a mega head cold. I’d just regained my sense of smell, which I treated like some kind of holy miracle, running around the house smelling various things just to make sure it was really back; oranges, cleaning products, under my arms etc. To celebrate life I made this lovely dish. A simple stew that once in the pan can just be left to its own devices to become delicious while filling the house with its delicious aroma.

40g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 medium lamb shanks
2 red onions (diced)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tomatoes (skinned, de-seeded and chopped)
1 tablespoon Turkish red pepper paste
400ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)

Preheat oven to 170ºC

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over a moderate heat. When bubbling, add the lamb shanks. Cook for 2 minutes each side until brown. Remove from the pan into a large ovenproof dish, which preferably has a lid. Add the olive oil to the frying pan you used for the shanks then the onion, garlic and oregano and saute for 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, tomatoes, pepper paste, and stock and bring to a simmer. Tip the sauce over the shanks, cover the dish with the lid (or heavy foil if it doesn’t have one). Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours, turning the shanks occasionally. Remove from the oven and take out the shanks. Using 2 forks, remove the meat from the bones and arrange the meat on a serving platter, spoon over about 2 cups of the warm sauce and serve.

Serve with more of the sauce alongside steamed vegetables and pilaf or mashed potatoes.

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