This is also the first time I’ve used fresh tarragon and I absolutely loved it! The aroma released while this dish is cooking will get your neighbours knocking on your door pretending to pass by for a “quick” visit (^_^)
OK, enough about how yummy this dish is, lets get to cooking it!
2 lamb shanks
Salt & pepper to taste
1 large onion, chopped into large pieces
1 large carrot, diced into large chunks
10 garlic cloves, sliced
1.5 cups stock, beef or chicken
3 bay leaves
10 cloves, whole
4 tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
3 twigs of fresh tarragon
1/2 a cup of red wine
Yes, it’s a long list, but it will not take long to do the prep at all. Everything that needs cutting is in large chunks (except the garlic) so it will take about a 30 seconds each to chop up if you’re quick.
Wash the meat if it needs to be then dry it, either with paper towels or a kitchen cloth. I have one dedicated kitchen cloth for this. Then sprinkle both sides of the chops with salt and pepper to taste.
For this next bit, if using an electronic slow cooker or ceramic oven dish, use a deep pot to sear the meat on stove top. I have pots that I was given as gifts that are awesome. They work on stove top and in the oven. So I seared the meat directly in the pot I used to slow cook in the oven.
In pot, melt two table spoons of butter. Sear the chops just till they brown on both sides, you don’t need them to cook, just to brown a bit. You may have to do them in batches, don’t squeeze too many into the pot, they should fit conformably with room to turn them. Add more butter if you need to for subsequent batches.
Then set the seared meat aside
To the pot, add the stock, onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and cloves, then bring to a boil…
Once the stock is boiling add in the meat. The meat should be submerged so that it cooks in the juices with all the other flavours. If it’s not submerged, add water till the liquid is just over the meat.
If you are using a slow cooker or ceramic oven dish then wait till you transfer this over before adding the water.
The add the fresh tarragon, the chopped tomatoes and the red wine. Stir, and transfer to your slow cooker or ceramic oven dish and cover. In my case, it goes straight into the oven.
I am not familiar with slow cookers, I’ve never had one. So I can’t tell you what the setting for it would be. I suggest you follow the instructions it came with. I think they usually include a list of settings for different things maybe? If you own one I would appreciate a comment below with a bit of direction for readers that may be using one…
For the oven, Preheat to 180°C. Cover and cook for 2 hours straight. No checking on it, no stirring. Just put it in there and come back after two hours to this
After two hours, pull out the meat, and reduce the stew on stove top, on medium to low heat. As it reduces it will thicken. Stop when it reaches your desired thickness. I reduced mine to about 1/3 the amount of liquid that was left after I pulled the meat out.
Once you have your desired thickness taste for salt. Add more if it needs it. DO NOT add salt before the reduction. Otherwise it will be waaay too salty.
Then remove the tarragon and bay leaves and you are ready to serve. Goes really well over rice or mashed potatoes with some veggies on the side.