May 21, 2018
Vintner's Bar and Grill, chef Peter Clarke is one of the South Australia's most innovative foodies, constantly experimenting with the subtle flavours that come from Asian and Middle Eastern spices and herbs. And when it comes to winter comfort food Clarkey knows you can't go past a simple braise.
Lamb shanks are one of his favourites because of their gelatinous muscle structure that softens to a melted, silky texture over several hours in the slow cooker or oven.
Clarkey's advice is to start with a mirepoix the 'holy trinity' of chopped carrot, onion and celery which provides a sweet base, add red wine for colour and richness and serve with a soft polenta for heartiness and texture.
It's a supremely easy week-day meal or perfect for a Saturday night feast with a glass of a medium-bodied, spicy red wine, such as our Yalumba Old Bush Vine Grenache, or for something a little heartier, try our Yalumba Paradox Shiraz.
Preheat your oven to 160°c (fan forced). In a heavy-based hot pan brown the shanks with Australian extra virgin olive oil, remove and place in a braising dish. Now make the mirepoix by browning the chopped onion, celery and carrot on a slow heat until it is aromatic and lightly coloured.
Add the garlic and fry lightly (avoid burning) then add red wine letting it bubble off the alcohol and reduce by half.
Now add the remaining ingredients – tomatoes, stock, parsley, thyme, bay leaves and lemon zest. Pour over the lamb shanks, cover and place in the oven to braise until tender (usually for 1.5 to 2 hours). Remove the shanks, then strain and season the sauce.
For the polenta, pour chicken stock and milk in a pot then add polenta stirring quickly until combined. Cook the mixture over a low heat, stirring regularly, until soft and smooth. Add parmesan and butter, stir vigorously while you season for taste.
To serve, make a mound of polenta in the middle of the plate, place the braised shank on the polenta, then drizzle the silky sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with your choice of Yalumba red wine.