One of the ways that I love to cook most is making it up as you go along. I rarely follow recipes closely because it is so fun to play with flavours and build a dish that is a little bit different. That is what bucket cooking is all about, taking a key ingredient or style, flavour, or method of cooking and building from there to make a meal for someone you love. It’s all about the satisfaction of feeding people delicious and comforting food, eating together and enjoying company. Why do you cook? Is it for sustenance, or to create, to socialise or maybe just out of necessity?
My favourite time of year is winter, I love being warm and cosy, wearing winter layers and rugging up with blankets. The sensation of comfort is something I crave, family and loved ones, and this falls into my go-to cooking style as well. Even in summer, I love to slow-cook, do one-pot dishes and indulge the comfort foods. This is why I love cooking the tougher cuts of meat until they fall apart and are melt in the mouth tender.
The lamb shanks in this recipe were pure bucket cooking, making use of what was in the kitchen to create some yumminess. The recipe below is written in this context, I would love to hear about your variations and flavour combinations and also how you love to cook and for whom. I hope that you enjoy them!!
BC Lamb Shanks
- lamb shanks (I just did 2 in this recipe)
- small onion diced
- 2 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- dry white wine (approx. 1/2 cup)
- 400 g can crushed tomatoes
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 2 large mushrooms, sliced
- approx. 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- I would have added homemade stock paste as well but didn’t have any so used an organic vegetable salt to give some extra flavour oomph.
Preheat oven to 160oC. Heat oil over med-high heat and brown the lamb shanks, add onion and garlic and saute until soft and lightly browned. Remove lamb shanks to a bowl and deglaze the pan over high heat with the wine, add tomatoes, herbs and salt and pepper and heat through. In a baking dish, surround the lamb shanks with the carrot, celery, cauliflower and mushrooms, cover with the wine/tomato mixture, cover with lid or aluminium foil, and bake for 4 hours or so.
Serve the lamb shanks with the veg – you could also serve with polenta or mashed potato if you wanted a starchy veg with it.