Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks – Hester Guy

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Recipe given by Hester Guy.


  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • Bunch thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bottle red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon or red wine of your choice)
  • NZ sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Rub lamb shanks with tomato puree and olive oil. Place in a roasting dish so they don’t touch each other and roast in a pre heated oven 150C approximately 1 hour until shanks are coloured.

Remove from oven; surround with vegetables, seasonings, herbs and half bottle red wine. Return to oven covered with foil and continue to slow roast until meat is tender and almost falling off the bone about 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile reduce remaining wine down to 2 tablespoons by rapid boiling (not drinking). Once lamb is cooked remove from oven and take out shanks, keep warm. Add reduced wine to liquid in the pan and boil again to concentrate flavour. Strain through a sieve; thicken juice with kneaded butter to a syrupy consistency. Pour over lamb shanks and serve with potato and parsnip mash.


Kneaded butter is used for thickening sauces. I find it very useful. Combine equal quantities of cold butter and flour in the food processor (say 200g of each) and process until a fine crumb forms.

To use – remove your sauce or casserole from the heat – the liquid must not be boiling. Sprinkle over a tablespoon or two of kneaded butter. The butter will melt and incorporate the flour into the sauce.

Gently stir the liquid, return to the heat and slowly bring back to the boil. Simmer a couple of minutes. If sauce is not thick enough repeat the process.

The trick is to always have the liquid hot not boiling otherwise the sauce will be lumpy. Store any leftover kneaded butter in the deep freeze and use as required.

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