While I don't celebrate Easter, it didn't stop me from rounding up my nearest and dearest and feasting on a bit of lamb. Though just like last year, it was far from traditional and sought its inspiration from my dear Andalusia.
Star of the lunch was this robust and comforting one-pot wonder and a sure sign of me missing old stomping ground. But you know what - not long now! Next month I'm back! Back, baby!
I used lamb shanks (my favourite) and bathed them in the oven for 3 hours with chorizo, beans, red wine and herbs. And the result... well, just look at it. Muy, muy bien.
Lamb shanks, beans and chorizo:
4 lamb shanks
200 g cooking chorizo, cut to 1/3 inch slices
1 (red) onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
1 tsp pimentón
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4 sprigs of rosemary
a large handful of thyme leaves
4 bay leaves
2,5 dl red wine
500 g passata (or crushed tomatos)
4 tins (á 400/ 240 g) large white beans
To serve: fresh parsley, the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon.
Sear the shanks in a bit of oil. Season and move aside.
Add some more oil into the pot. Brown the chorizo lightly. Then add onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Let them soften. Then add pimentón and chili and let them, too, come to life for a couple of minutes.
Add tomato concentrate and red wine. Bring to boil. Add herbs and pour in the passata and beans (drained and rinsed). Mix it all evenly, taste and season. Place the shanks into the pot and transfer to oven, pre-heated at 150° (130° will do if it's a fan assisted one). Cook, covered for 3 hours, turning the shanks halfway through.
Sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest and go loco. You know you'll want to.
The dish had quite a bit going on (robust nature, lamb, the heat and fat of the chorizo, herbs, tomato...), it took me a while to settle on the wine. But sure enough, it comes from Spain.
Murviedro Colección Reserva (Tempranillo 40%, Monastrell 40%, Syrah 20%) is a great find. Matured in French and American oak for 12 months, one thing this wine doesn't lack is character. It's robust and full-bodied but with matured tannins and notes of dark berries. A great wine for dark, herby game and lamb dishes.
PS. While, post-Easter, you might not want to see another lamb for a while, do check out my other Andalusian-inspired recipe for lamb shanks braised in sherry and all those warm spices. Muy bien, this too. Si, si!
ANYONE FOR SECONDS?