A delicious and impressive main course, this Spanish Style Red Wine, Borlotti Bean and Lamb Shank Casserole is actually incredibly easy to make, with only 15 minutes hands on time. Perfect for a midweek treat, a hassle free Sunday lunch or even a dinner party!
I am (as the name of my blog would suggest) a passionate foodie. I love experimenting with food and flavour, and I am influenced by recipes and flavours from all over the globe. One reason I love lamb so much is because it pairs so well with so many different flavours and different cuisines – it goes well in Middle Eastern, North African, Mediterranean, South American, Indian, and of course British dishes – yet results in some very different flavours.
One of my favourite cuisines has to be Spanish food, and Spanish flavours go so well with lamb – flavours such as red wine, garlic, paprika, cumin and rosemary.
This recipe uses all these delicious Spanish flavours to flavour a simple lamb casserole, but using lamb shanks really gives this dish the wow factor. I love dishes like this – dishes that look seriously impressive, but are actually incredibly easy peasy to do.
In fact this casserole only needs 15 minutes of hands on time, then you pop it in the oven and let it do its thing for 2 hours, leaving you free to do whatever you need to do, whilst the oven does all the hard work. Great if you have kids that need your attention on a busy weeknight, or if you fancy relaxing at the weekend rather than spending hours in the kitchen cooking up your Sunday lunch. This dish would also work really well for a dinner party – leaving you oodles of time to get ready and entertain your guests, instead of being stuck in the kitchen juggling pots and pans.
Alternatively, this is also a great ‘make ahead’ meal. Simply make it the day before, or earlier that day when you have time to spare. Cool it down and put it in the fridge and then reheat it for about 30 minutes, until piping hot, when you need it.
If you have any leftovers (unlikely as this dish is so delicious, but you never know!), shred the meat into the sauce and keep it in the fridge, then reheat and stir through some pasta the next day for a quick, simple but very tasty meal!
I have allowed for 1 lamb shank per 2 people in this recipe as, certainly for our family, this is plenty (I have used 500g shanks). However, if your lamb shanks are smaller, or if you have a big appetite, and certainly if you are doing this for a dinner party, you may want to go for 1 lamb shank per person.
Red wine is a key ingredient in this dish and, as always, I recommend using a red wine that you would be happy to drink – don’t use ropy old wine that’s been hanging around opened for week or more, or it will spoil the casserole! Since you are only using 1 small glass in the cooking, I recommend using the wine you are planning to drink with the meal. Obviously a good Spanish wine would be the ideal choice. A Rioja would go well here, but I have chosen to use a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, a region of Spain which offers similar style wines to Rioja, but at more affordable prices. And it goes perfectly with and in this casserole.
If you prefer not to use wine in this dish, replace with the same amount of lamb stock instead. The flavour will not be quite as rich, but it will still taste good!
I have chosen to serve this casserole with mashed potato and green vegetables, but it would also work well with rice or, if you want to keep things really simple, just some bread to mop up the delicious sauce! If you are cutting down on carbs, simply serve with an extra helping of vegetables instead.
- 4 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
- 2 large lamb shanks (roughly 500g) or 4 smaller ones
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
- 150ml red wine (or lamb stock, if you prefer)
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400g tin borlotti beans, drained
- Mashed potato, rice or bread to serve (optional)
- Green vegetables to serve (optional)
- 2 tablespoons parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 160C.
- Heat the oil in a large hob proof casserole dish, season the lamb and then brown the lamb on all sides in the hot pan.
- Remove the lamb from the casserole dish and turn down the heat. Add the onion and carrot together with the cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary and garlic and cook over a gentle heat with the lid on for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the red wine and turn the heat up, allow the red wine to reduce slightly.
- Add the tomatoes and the lamb shanks, lying the lamb shanks down on one side so they are half submerged in the sauce, and bring back to the boil. Cover and place in the preheated oven for 45minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven and carefully turn the lamb so it is lying on the other side, cover and put back in the oven for another 45 minutes.
- After this further 45 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven, turn the lamb so it is now sitting with the bone sticking up, add the drained borlotti beans, cover and return the lamb to the oven for a final 30 minutes (a total of 2 hours in the oven).
- During this final 30 minutes you can cook the accompaniments - I made mashed potatoes and green vegetables.
- When the lamb has finished cooking, remove from the oven, scatter with parsley and serve with the accompaniments.
This is a collaborative post with the ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ campaign. ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ is an EU funded campaign which aims to increase the use of lamb in everyday cooking. Lamb is often considered difficult to cook, expensive, or something to be saved for Sunday roasts. The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate just how tasty, easy and fun lamb is to cook with every day of the week! They also have a wonderful website, full of tasty and easy lamb recipes that go way beyond the traditional roast lamb we all know and love.
Love Lamb? Check out my collection of Easy & Delicious Lamb Recipes
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