12 June 2012

Orange and Olive Lamb Shanks

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  Edith Sitwell

Things to love about winter....there are a few, much as I prefer the longer Summer days and balmy evenings.  For me it would be open fires, soup in all it's incarnations, wrapped up warm for bright and crisp mornings at One Tree Hill, fragrant tangines, red wine, beef bourguignon, baked potatoes, mid Winter Christmas parties*, snuggled up under a blanket** with a good book, scarves - I have a lot of scarves, a steaming mug of hot chocolate, celeriac puree preferably with a drizzle of brown butter, quiet nights in all rugged up, citrus, my hibiscus that refuses to believe it is actually Winter and lamb shanks.  

My tried and true is here, rich and tender meat falling off the bone brightened with a little gremolata,  but I felt like it was time to broaden the lamb shanks horizons and I came across this version from the Italian master in the orange crocs.  An alchemist at bring together a few simple ingredients creating something so much great than the sum of their parts.  This is perfect dish to be bubbling away on the stove on a Sunday afternoon while you curl up on the sofa with a good book.

*Here in New Zealand a mid winter christmas gives us all a chance to properly enjoy a Christmas feast, it is just not quite the same without the requisite cold weather!

**Or just snuggled

Orange and Olive Lamb Shanks, from Mario Batali*

*minimally tweaked due to what I had on hand and what I forgot! Canned cherry tomatoes replace homemade tomato sauce, kalamata olives replace gaeta olive oh and I totally forgot the chicken stock.  However, no ill effects and a perfect winter warmer on a lazy Sunday afternoon!

Serves 4


4 lamb shanks
Salt and pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, diced
8 cloves garlic
2 oranges, cut in to 8 wedges
2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives
1 cup dry white wine
1 tin cherry tomatoes*

*the cherry tomatoes add a lovely sweetness, however a tin if regular chopped tomatoes would be quite delicious too.


Pre heat the over to 180C/375F

Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper.  In a large dutch oven or heavy based saucepan add the olive and heat over a medium heat.  Add the lamb shanks and brown them well.  It will take 10-15 minutes.  Turn them occasionally to make sure they are browned on all sides. Once browned remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions, garlic and orange wedges to the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes until softened.  Add the rosemary, olives, white wine and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Return the lamb shanks to the pot and cover tightly.  Place in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone.

Serve with a pile of mashed potato or celeriac mash for a wonderful winter warming dinner.  The orange provides a wonderful brightness and then a briny saltiness from the olives.

If you like this you might like this Curried Beef Stew
One year ago Caramelised Fennel and Goat Cheese



  1. Yum! I've never tried the orange olive combo. Will have to give it a go

    1. Thanks Mags, you should it' perfect for winter :)

  2. Great combination Mairi, orange and olive, yum!

  3. So greedy looking such Orange and Olive Lamb made Shanks! Really my leaps become water for eating the Shanks though I will try to make it according to following ingredient at any cost. Thank you so much dude for sharing with us :)

  4. These are utterly fabulous! I am nuts about lamb (and lamb shanks) and love love love sweet/fruity and savory meat dishes. They are the best and yes the best in the deep of winter. The blend of flavors here is wonderful and this recipe is bookmarked! Even for summer!

    1. Thanks Jamie, yes they certainly warm & brighten up a winter evening especially alongside a wee glass of red :)


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