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Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks with Tomato and Anchovies

Slow cooking brings out the best in lamb shanks - which used to be a cheap cut but due to popularity has become more expensive and now a treat. For good reason as they are delicious. The meat should be falling off the bone. The main trick is finding the right combination of flavours for the sauce. This is a lovely simple recipe that does just that – the tomato sauce is slightly sweet due to the semi-dried tomatoes, yet the anchovies give it a salty kick to balance it out so well and surprisingly they match perfectly with lamb - as the Provencal French love to do. Is an easy meal to throw together which makes it a family favourite, and a great winter dish. I suggest having bread to mop up the juices, or replace the potatoes here with mashed potato, or couscous, as you do end up with a good amount of sauce.

"Our family's favourite, mostly a special Sunday night treat"– Lisa Gunthorpe.

Pictured: Slow-roasted Lamb Shanks with Tomato and Anchovies

125g drained semi-dried tomatoes
8 drained anchovy fillets
1 tbsp drained capers
4 French-trimmed lamb shanks
8 medium (1.6kg) potatoes, peeled, quartered
825g can tomatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 150°C, 130°C fan forced.

Blend or process semi-dried tomatoes, anchovies and capers to a paste.
Push fingers between muscle layers of lamb shanks to make pockets.
Place lamb in deep oven-proof dish. Press as much of paste possible into pockets, spread any left over onto outside of lamb.
Place potatoes around lamb, pour undrained tomatoes over.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover dish tightly with foil or a lid and bake in oven 2 ½ hours, turning lamb halfway.
Remove lid and bake a further 30 minutes or til lamb is tender.
Add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry during cooking.
Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with steamed vegetables and crusty bread or couscous to mop up the lovely sauce.

Serves 4

TasteTip - Anchovies have an affinity with red meat and also form the basis of condiments such as  Worcestershire sauce. Used sparingly it can add an extra kick to soups, stews and sauces.