I feel like I fed the entire Clan of the Cave Bear this week. Lamb shanks always make me think of caveman food - that big bone just begs to be used as a handle for gnawing.
I did some tweaks this time that I thought might interest you.
Tweak #1: After browning the shanks and the onions, I added coarsely chopped garlic cloves to the pan and, after a few minutes of cooking, deglazed with red wine and put those ingredients in the crock pot with a couple of carrots, peeled and hunked.
Tweak #2: I made some beef stock with a nifty product called "Better Than Bouillon." It's a thick paste of highly reduced beefy flavor that you mix with boiling water to reconstitute a nice stock. It keeps a long time in the fridge, tastes very good and comes in a glass jar so no worries about what the lining of the can contains. Nice. I added about four cups of the beef stock to the ingredients in the crockpot, clapped on the lid and simmered it all together on "high" for four or five hours.
Tweak #3: Toward the end of the cooking time, perhaps an hour before dinner time, I dumped in two cans of drained Navy beans to heat with the rest. I didn't have dry beans, or I'd have simmered them along with the rest in the goozle. Still, a big thumbs-up!
We ended up with lovely, flavorful lamb shanks on a bed of beans. This is the Alley Oop and Oola of winter meals - a happy courtship. The beans loved the cooking liquor and the lamb loved the beans. Two shanks made dinner for both of us for two nights running, plus at least two lunches. Each time we reheated the dish, it got a little richer and the goozle got a little thicker until we were left just lambyonionygarlicky juices that jelled in the fridge, they were so brawny. I haven't decided yet what to do with the goozle but rest assured it will reappear here in a subsequent post.
Now, if I can just find a fur loincloth for My Beloved...