Still trying to recapture the flavour of the wonderful “seven-hour lamb” I had at Le Manchot d’Henri in Paris … this isn’t quite it, but it is delicious. Like all casseroles it’s even better kept for a day and reheated.
Most recipes seem to assume one shank per person; that’s too much meat for me, but carnivores may differ.
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
about 16 dried apricots or prunes
150 ml port or other sweet wine
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
about 250 ml stock
salt and pepper
Halve the apricots or prunes, and remove the stones in the case of the latter. Put in a small bowl, pour over the wine, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy casserole and brown the lamb on all sides over a high heat, while preparing the onions and garlic. Remove the lamb to a plate, lower the heat, and saute the onions until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cinnamon and cook for another minute. Return the lamb to the pan, pour over the stock, and season if the stock wasn’t already well-seasoned.
Simmer gently, covered with a tight-fitting lid, for about an hour. Then add the fruit and its liquid and simmer for at least another hour and a half; the meat should be falling off the bones. You can set the lid askew for the last half hour or so, to reduce the sauce a bit. Serve with gratin dauphinois or a celeriac and potato mash.