Lamb Shank & Ancient Grain Polenta


INGREDIENTS - 4 Servings

  • 4 Lamb Shanks, 13 oz each, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp  , (4 large or 6 small beef cheeks)
  • 1 cup onion (yellow), diced 
  • 1 cup celery stalk , diced 
  • 1 cup carrot , diced 
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 6 stems of fresh thyme 
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup beef stock (broth)
  • 2 cups red wine
    2 - 3 tsp salt , separated
  • Black pepper


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types – fan and standard).
Step 2
Season shanks – Pat the lamb shanks dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 3
Brown – Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy based pot over high heat. Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes. Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
Step 4
Sauté aromatics – Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and sweet.
Step 5
Braising liquid – Add the red wine, chicken stock, crushed tomato, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Step 6
Add shanks – Place the lamb shanks into the pot, squeezing them in to fit so they are mostly submerged.
Step 7
Oven 2 hours covered – Turn stove up, bring liquid to a simmer. Cover, then transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
Step 8
Uncovered 30 minutes – Remove lid, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes (so 2 1/2 hours in total). Check to ensure lamb meat is ultra tender – if not, cover and keep cooking. Ideal is tender meat but still just holding onto bone.
Step 9
Remove lamb onto a plate and keep warm. Pick out and discard bay leaves and thyme.
Step 10
Sauce – Strain the sauce into a bowl, pressing to extract all sauce out of the veggies . Pour strained sauce back into the pot. If needed, bring to a simmer over medium heat and reduce slightly to a syrupy consistency.


INGREDIENTS - 4-6 Servings

  • 1 cup polenta or medium yellow cornmeal
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoon butter 
  • ½ cups freshly grated parmesan
    ½ cups freshly aged cheddar 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 



Step 1
Heat the water and milk in a large saucepan or pot until boiling. Once boiling slowly pour the polenta into the hot liquid whilst whisking to avoid any lumps. Constantly stir the polenta until it starts to thicken then turn the heat down to low.
Step 2
Cook the polenta on a low heat for at least 30 minutes or until it starts to come away from the edge of the pot, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (different brands and how fine or coarse the polenta is will make a difference in cooking times but generally 30 minutes is enough time for medium ground cornmeal).
Step 3
Add the butter, parmesan (or cheese of choice), salt and pepper to taste and stir until melted and combined.
Step 4
Serve immediately or pour into a baking dish to cool


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