Each Saturday, the hubby and I sit down and discuss our meals for the upcoming week before I do an online shop. One of the things he really wanted to do was smoke a couple of lamb shanks outside. Lamb shanks bought, we were hit with Storm Ciara. I placed the lamb shanks in the freezer to cook the following week. As these two beauties were thawing in the fridge Storm Dennis came for a visit! I couldn’t refreeze the meat so the wife made a plan…
Instant Pot to the rescue!
I’ve read somewhere that you don’t really want the meat to soak in liquid, so I’ve decided to place it on a trivet. I then poured water in the bottom, just enough so it doesn’t touch the meat. I then placed a whole bulb of garlic (cut in half), a big sprig of thyme, a generous pinch of sea salt and a lemon (squeezed the juice over the shanks) before setting it to high pressure for 40 minutes. Although the meat was tender, in hindsight, I would put it in for an hour next time as it didn’t quite fell off the bone yet.
Once the pressure cooking was done, I left it to naturally depressurise. This is where I started to make my rice and the yogurt dip that accompanied the dish and set the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. I did add garlic to my rice right at the start with the salt and water just to make the whole dish extra garlicky!
Once the Instant Pot released the pressure I placed the (very grey-looking) shanks on a bed of sliced tomatoes and olives in a foil-lined tray. I then placed the shanks on top and took one half of the now very soft garlic and smeared it all over the shanks like you would with butter. I crumbled over the feta cheese, squeezed half a lime over and placed in the oven to brown and crisp up. This took about 15 minutes.
Whilst the shanks were browning in the oven, I placed some Anya potatoes (they are very small waxy potatoes) in the same liquid in the Instant Pot and pressure-cooked it for 10 minutes on high pressure with a quick release.
I served the shanks on a bed of garlic rice accompanied by a yogurt dip, the potatoes and a fresh mediterranean salad. I also thickened the sauce from the Instant Pot and spooned a bit of it over the lamb just before serving.
Even though it was done in the Instant Pot, it did require a bit of hands on cooking which made all the difference in the end. The garlic paste has left a lovely crunch around the outside of the meat and just enhanced the flavour of the entire dish.
Place the shanks, garlic bulbs, half of the thyme, lemon juice and lemon halves on the trivet in an Instant Pot inner pot. Pour water in and season generously with salt and pepper.
Place the inner pot into the Instant Pot, place the vent on sealing and set the timer for 40-60 minutes high pressure depending on the size of the shanks.
Once the time is up, let the pot naturally depressurise whilst you start making the rice, prepping the salad and the yogurt dip if you are serving the shanks with this. Set the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with foil, place tomato slices and olives at the bottom.
Once the pot came to a full natural release, take the shanks out along with one half of the garlic. Smear the softened garlic over the shanks until covered on all sides.
Place garlic shanks on the tomato slices and olives, scatter over half of the feta, the remaining thyme, the juice of half a lime, the remaining half of garlic and season with salt and pepper again. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
Whilst the shanks are browning in the oven, place the potatoes in the Instant pot (in the lamb liquid, but take the trivet out) and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes with a quick release once cooking is done.
Thicken the sauce with a bit of cornflour and serve with the shanks on a bed of rice with the potatoes, remainder of the feta, a side salad and yogurt dip.
On Saturday evenings after the rugby my dad will put a whole rack of lamb ribs into the oven and we would have that with pap. Nowadays I like to keep things a little more healthy and cook French-trimmed lamb ribs with a bit of potatoes and an awesome pistachio pesto.