A hot bowl of stew is often regarded as soul food. It comforts, satisfies and puts things right. It is also packed with wholesome goodness, depending on what you choose to put in your stew.
You can move beyond the traditional celery, potato and carrot to include other items such as beans, corn, artichoke and diversify your nutrient intake all in just one pot. It’s also a great way to test out ingredients unfamiliar to you and maybe even ‘hide’ a few vegetables for that fussy eater in the family.
To make sure that your stew is made of the clean stuff, you can spend a bit of extra time making your own stock and tomato puree (homemade puree makes a difference in the flavour of this dish). I’d usually prepare my stock and puree a couple of days ahead so I’m not bogged down with hours of preparation all for one dish. Once this is sorted out, cooking the stew itself is not hard work as the dish cooks in the oven after the initial easy steps.
This is a basic stew recipe that I’ve relied on over the years. Although I’ve cooked more often with beef chunks for this, it works well with lamb shank or any secondary cuts really. With beef, I’d prefer rosemary as the fresh herb. The freshness of thyme works perfectly well with lamb. What I’ve done differently here is the garlic parsley butter basting in the last 40 minutes of cooking. This step, which I’ve picked up from a recipe online, lends to the lamb a richer and fresher layer of flavour. Serve this with a side of soft, warm bread at celebratory occasions or when you simply need an indulgent pick-me-up. Use the leftover sauce, if there are any, with some minced meat of choice to whip up a mind-blowing pasta dish, too! Enjoy.
- 2 lamb shanks
- 4 stalks celery, cut ½ an inch thick
- 2 large carrots, cut ½ an inch thick
- 6 small potatoes, skin on, halved
- 3 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves garlic, split
- 1 large onion, chopped
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 500ml red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- Some sea salt, pepper and flour
- Some coconut oil / pure butter/ fat of choice
For the garlic parsley butter:
Roughly pound a handful of fresh parsley and 3 cloves garlic. Mix into 2 tablespoons of salted butter and set aside.
- Coat the shanks generously with flour. Brown them in a large pot with some coconut oil. Remove from pot and put aside.
- In the same pot, sauté cinnamon, thyme, cloves, garlic, bay leaves and onions for about a minute.
- Add in the carrots and celery, mix well for another two minutes.
- Pour in the beef stock, wine and tomato puree. Add in some salt and pepper. Also, throw in both shanks. Let it come to a simmer.
- Transfer everything into a large tray, cover with a foil and roast in the oven for 80 minutes at 170°C.
- Add in the halved potatoes onto the tray, sprinkle some salt and pepper and cook uncovered for another 40 minutes.
- Turn up the temperature to 185°C, baste the shanks with garlic parsley butter on one side and cook for 20 minutes. Do the same to the other side for another 20 minutes.
- Garnish with some fresh thyme and enjoy!
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