Undeniably, a hearty favourite in the stew category for those cold winters where a wholesome, nutritionally dense, balanced and comforting meal is called for.
This is pressure cooker ready in an astounding 45 minutes. The last time I made this, family members came home tired, cold and a little sick. I knew this stew would do the trick and have everyone around the table digging into the pull- apart morsels of beef, soft bean and vegetables. A nice crusty bread has to be accompanied of course.
Pin this Recipe on Pinterest: Lamb Shank Stew
Prep 45 minutes
Cooking Time 45 minutes ( pressure cooker)
Cooking Time 7 hours ( slow cooker )
500g dried borlotti beans
1L water ( for soaking beans )
2 lamb shanks (apx 750g)
2 medium finely chopped red onions
2 medium finely chopped carrots
1 whole garlic bulb (cloves cleaned and chopped)
2 bunches thyme (generous)
1 bunch parsley ( 1 cup when chopped ) – reserve half
250g fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
1 tspn tomato paste ( optional )
1 bunch silverbeet chopped (4 cups when chopped or 2 large leaves per person )
1 cup chicken stock
6 tbspns Olive oil
6-8 cups water for cooking
Prepare the Beans
Canned beans could be used but you may need to reduce the amount of liquid used. As well, you may find the result is just not the same. It is well worth, using dried beans and soaking. They absorb all the flavours – contributing to the full-flavoured wholesome taste.
In a large bowl, place the dried beans and cover with water generously. The beans will expand, and the water will be absorbed . If you don’t have enough, the beans I’ll be sitting in the bowl dry without any water. Maybe check after 2 hours add some more water. This process takes 4-6 hours depending on the bean and how long they have been on the shelf. Soak them overnight, or perhaps in the morning before you head out of the house.
The beans are ready, when they have doubled in size in your bowl. Finally for this step, strain.
Brown the shanks and Vegetables
Add 6 few tablespoons of olive oil into the pressure cooker. Allow the olive oil to heat up, but not smoke. Swivel it around the base of the cooker to coat the whole base.
Add the two lamb shanks, don’t stir them around but allow each side to brown ( not pink or grey) before flipping them over to the other side.
Remove from the cooker. Add a little more olive oil, and brown all the vegetables except the spinach/silverbeet and half the parsley. These will be added 5 minutes before serving.
See the picture below for reference. Note the colour of the browned shanks and the strained beans after soaking somebhave doubled in size , some have opened up.
Bring it All Together
Add the shanks first back into the cooker, then the browned vegetables. Add the tomatoes, stir and allow them to bubble for two minutes.
Add the remainder of the liquids , salt, pepper.
Adjust heat on high and wait for the liquid to start boiling. Seal the pressure cooker, by Adding the lid and adjusting your pressure valve so that it is on and seals steam.
Adjust the heat to medium and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Release the pressure valve before attempting to open, stir , check the liquid. Depending on the batch of the bean they will absorb a different quantity of water. Some intuition is required here as with all cooking. If the liquid isn’t at least 5 cm in excess add more liquid. At the same time, if you add too much you may find the stew hasn’t absorbed the liquid in the remainder of the time and too watery.
Seal the cooker again, ensure pressure valve is on and allow to cook on medium for another 10 minutes.
Open the cooker, take out the shanks. At this stage the shank meat will separate cleanly from the bone. Separate the meat, throw the meat into the stew. Throw out the bone.
Cook without the lid for another 5 or 10 minutes on medium and add the silverbeet and parsley.
These last 5 -10 minutes ofslow cooking are used to ensure your stew is the right consistency. Don’t add water just before serving.