FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT WINTER – #1, LAMB SHANKS
There’s so many awesome things about winter; Netflix, red wine, uggboots, chocolate and lamb shanks.
Seriously though, I love Margaret River in winter, and as soon as it’s cool enough to light the fire, I get a craving for tender, tasty lamb shanks. I lived in England for quite a few years and while they do an excellent Sunday Roast – they really celebrate it in fact – beef is still king, and lamb was something I missed about Australia.
This is slightly more involved than some lamb shank recipes, but it’s worth adding the extra ingredients. It’s how we create all the flavour!
So, my top five things I love about winter, in reverse order of course…
#5 – Handmade Chocolate at Gabriel Chocolate, Temper Temper and Cavalcade Desserts
I’m a sweet tooth, and so are my kids. Several excellent chocolate providores have popped up in the Margaret River region over recent years, and it’s our occasional Sunday treat to visit one.
Gabriel Chocolate have a small but excellent range, they’re a true bean to bar producer.
Temper Temper, just south of Margaret River, make awesome bars and rocky road. Bring me back a bar of ‘Rocky Road Less Travelled’ (it has ginger and macadamia) and I’ll love you forever.
Cavalcade Desserts are at the Margaret River Farmers Market on Saturday mornings – Nadia also works at Arimia as a pastry chef.
#4 – Red Wine – from Margaret River of course
It goes without saying – red wine in the company of friends is one of life’s finest things. And there’s nothing better to do on a rainy winters day to visit a few cellar doors and pick up a handful of your favourite wines.
Which wineries? There’s so many to choose from – ask the team at reception if you’d like extra recommendations – but I’d suggest Juniper Estate, Arimia Estate, Howard Park Winery, Vasse Felix, Cullen and Leeuwin Estate to name a few.
#3 – Uggboots (seriously)
As soon as I get home, I change into the uggies. They’re the epitome of comfort, and of course I buy them locally. Yallingup Shearing Shed in the north (take the kids to feed the sheep and watch a shearing demo) or Boutique Eco in Margaret River
#2 – Cinefest Oz
Wednesday 23– Sunday 27 August 2017
Every August the stars roll into town for Australia’s richest film festival. Celebrating Aussie and French cinema, there’s a raft of awesome events including the film premieres, director’s lunch and ‘in conversation’ events.
Last year Jasper Jones, shot in Pemberton, premiered along with a host of excellent films. I can’t wait to see what’s on this year!
#1 – Lamb Shanks
I like to serve my lamb shank off the bone. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Lamb shank recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 lamb shanks
- 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 185ml (3/4 cup) red wine
- 2 tablespoons dried beef stock
- 400g green beans
- 1 butternut pumpkin
- 2 sweet potato
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 tub sour cream
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook lamb shanks in 2 batches, turning, for 5 minutes or until brown. Place in a large roasting pan, in a single layer.
Add tomato, celery, onion, bay leaves and rosemary. Add stock and wine. Sprinkle the beef stock over the top. Season. Cover with foil. Bake at 150°C for 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until the lamb is golden.
While the lamb is cooking for its last 45 minutes, peel the butternut and sweet potato, cut in to 1 inch cubes and boil until cooked and easy to pierce with a knife.
Drain the mixture into a colander and allow to dry for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the butter and cinnamon and mash with a potato masher. Season to taste. Cover the bowl with cling film and keep warm until ready to serve.
Top and tail the green beans and blanch for about 4 minutes in boiling water or until al dente. Drain the water, transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and keep warm until ready to serve.
Use tongs to transfer the lamb shanks to a large bowl, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a separate bowl. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge.
Pour the liquid into a large jug. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours. This hardens the surface fat so it’s easy to remove. Use a spoon to remove and discard the fat.
Once the lamb shanks are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones in large pieces and then shred the meat slightly. Discard the bones and knuckles.
Melt the braising liquid in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce by one third and then add the meat and braised veg back to the liquid to reheat.
To serve, add mash and beans onto the plate slightly to one side. Add some piping hot lamb shank meat and top with sour cream and shallots.
Winter Accommodation Deals at Quality Inn Margaret River
We’re making a winter getaway even more appealing with our 2 Day Winter Warmer package.
Enjoy a cosy 2 night stay in one of our Hotel Rooms with your Margaret River region experience all planned out, including a $75 food and beverage voucher for Willow Grill and a complimentary bottle of wine in your room.
Also enjoy these additional vouchers for your winter adventure in Margaret River:
- 2 free glasses of wine from the Shades range when 2 main meals are ordered at Watershed Premium Winery
- Free tasting paddle OR 2 free midis of beer or cider when 2 main meals are ordered at Bootleg Brewery
- 20% off the price of admission to any of the Caves in Margaret River. See the hotel reception to book your tickets.
- 20% of all workshops at Vasse Virgin and 10% of all purchases in the stores at Margaret River & Wilyabrup.
- Fish & Chips & a pint for $25 Or Beef / Fish Tacos & a Corona for $20 at Sea Gardens Cafe.
Keen for a winter getaway?
Book our Margaret River 2 Day Winter Warmer