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Larb Gai

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Slow-cooked lamb shanks with rosemary and thyme

I decided to slow-cook some lamb shanks for Easter lunch. I combined a friend’s roast leg of lamb recipe with one from British chef Jamie Oliver.

lamb shanks with rosemary and thyme


Lamb shanks (4)

Onions (4)

Carrots (3 medium)

Celery (3 stalks)

Garlic (1 bulb)



Bay leaves (4 small/medium)

Red wine (1 bottle)

Dijon mustard (1/3 cup)

Black pepper

Start browning the lamb shanks in a large Dutch oven/ovenproof pan then chop the onions, carrots and celery into similarly sized pieces. Most of the vegetables dissolve during the cooking process so you don’t need to be very precise.

chopped carrots, celery and onions

sauteed vegetables with thyme

Break the garlic bulb into cloves. Flatten and peel each one. I wear rubber gloves when I do this because the garlic oil can linger for quite a while.

Take the browned shanks out of the pan and start sautéing the vegetables in the same pan. When the vegetables have begun to soften, add the garlic, 3 tbsp of rosemary, bay leaves and 8-10 sprigs of thyme. Bury the lamb shanks into the vegetables as the onion begins to caramelize.

browned lamb shanks with vegetables

Preheat the oven to 400˚F degrees.

Whisk the Dijon mustard into a cup of the wine, pour the mixture over the lamb and vegetables, and then add the rest of the bottle. Grind some pepper over the top and gently mix everything together before placing the covered pan into the oven.

mixing red wine and Dijon mustard

Reduce the oven to 300˚F degrees and cook for 3-4 hours until the meat melts off the bones. Remove the bones, bare sprigs and bay leaves. Stir the dish and mash the garlic cloves as you find them. Add salt and pepper to taste. The dish is not pretty at this point but it's delicious!

Serves 6 to 8 if you add a couple of sides. We served green beans and oven-roasted potatoes.

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