Braised Lamb Shanks with Lentils

Serves 2 - 2 lamb shanks - 150g green lentils - 4 brown anchovies, very finely chopped - 2 carrots, finely chopped - 2 sticks celery, finely chopped - 2 onions, finely chopped - 2 bay leaves - 1 clove garlic, peeled - 400ml vegetable stock - 250ml white wine - 1tsp dried oregano - 1tsp brown sugar
This really is a lovely one for winter. I use anchovies in this recipe, but please don't think that's weird. They're just so so good with lamb and totally lose their fishy taste once cooked. They sort of disintegrate and just make it very tasty. It's worth noting that the main ingredient of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is anchovies. 1. Massage the anchovies into the lamb, tucking into any gaps. Season only with black pepper. 2. Heat a little oil in a heavy pan suitable for both hob & oven, on a high heat. Brown the shanks all over. Remove from the pan along with any juices and reserve - if necessary, use a little water to deglaze and get all the lamb juices out of the pan. 3. Reduce heat to medium - add the carrots, celery, onions and one of the bay leaves, with a little more oil if required. Fry for about 10 minutes until slightly softened and a little coloured. 4. Add the sugar, oregano, wine & stock. 5. Return the lamb to the pan. 6. Cover and transfer to a pre-heated oven (150 degrees). Cook for about 1hr 45 mins, uncovering for the last 15. You will add the lentils to this about half an hour before the end of the cooking time. Meanwhile, prepare the green lentils as per packet instructions (usually boiling rapidly for 10 minutes, followed by 35 minutes of simmering - don't salt the water), adding a bay leaf and the whole garlic clove to the water once it has started to simmer. Drain well and add to the casserole for the last half an hour of its cooking time. Season with salt and pepper at this point. Serve with crusty bread.