Shinco di Agnello / Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

James cooks this delicious recipe for lamb shanks.

Serves 6

6 small lamb shanks
plain flour for dusting
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
a handful of chopped rosemary leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
175 ml balsamic vinegar
300 ml red wine

Preheat the oven to 200°C (or you can cook on top of the stove).

Dust the lamb shanks with seasoned flour.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid [we use a heavy cast-iron caserole], heat the oil and brown the shanks on all sides then remove. Lower the heat, add the onions and cook for about 10-15 minutes until light brown. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Raise the heat and add the balsamic vinegar and the wine. Reduce for a couple of minutes.

Return the shanks to the pan, reduce the heat and cover with a piece of moistened greaseproof paper and the lid. Cook in the oven for about 2-2.1/2 hours, alternatively on top of the stove.

Check the shanks from time to time, basting with the juices or adding more wine if they look too dry. Serve whole, with the juices.

—Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. The River Cafe Cookbook, London: Ebury, 1995