|lamb shanks — approximately 500 -750 gram each
|medium carrots — peeled and cut into large chunks
|medium onion — peeled and cut into quarters
|leek — cut lengthwise into quarters and well rinsed
|celery stalk — cut into quarters
|fresh rosemary sprigs
|lamb stock — chicken stock
|rigatoni — ziti (tubular pasta)
|cubes — Lamb /chicken stock
|pecorino cheese — finely grated
Prepare the lamb:
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Wipe the lamb shanks and season with salt on all sides.
Heat the olive oil over medium- high heat in a large oven-proof casserole with a
lid. Place the shanks in the casserole and brown on all sides. Remove the
shanks from the casserole and set aside on a plate.
Add the carrots, onion, leek and celery to the casserole dish and cook until
onion becomes translucent in about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste.
Continue to cook for another minute, breaking up the tomato paste.
Add the wine and deglaze the pan, loosening the bits stuck to the base of the
pan. Add the thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley and bay leaves and stir to
blend all the ingredients.
Return the lamb shanks to the casserole dish and add stock to semi cover the
shanks, about half the way. Cover the dish and place in a pre-heated oven.
Cook for an hour, remove from the oven and check the level of the liquid. If
necessary add more stock. Turn the shanks to the around with the bottom side
up. Return to the oven, covered and continue to cook for another hour.
When the shanks are cooked and the meat is falling off the bone, remove from
the oven. Take the shanks out of the remaining liquid and put aside in another
dish to cool down.
Remove all the meat from the bone and shred finely. Blend the remaining
cooking liquid and mix half of it with the shredded meat. Keep the remaining
liquid that will be used before baking the pasta ring. Line a round bowl with
straight sides about 12 cm in diameter with cling wrap, place the meat in the
bowl and level it. Store in the refrigerator to set.
Prepare the pasta:
Fill a large pot with water, bring to the boil and add the stock cube to the water.
Add the pasta and cook the pasta 1 minute less than recommended. Drain the
pasta and refresh in cold water. When the pasta is cool drain it on paper
Grease two 16 cm springform pans with olive oil and set aside.
When the pasta is cool enough to handle, arrange the rigatoni vertically side
by side to line the inside edge of the springform pan. The pasta must form a
continuous ring around the edge of the pan. Place a second row of pasta
tubes around to reinforce the first ring. Sprinkle each ring with a little pecorino
to help the pasta stick together when cooking the finished dish. Place in the
refrigerator to set.
Assemble the dish:
Heat the oven to 180°C. Remove the pasta lined springform pans from the
refrigerator and carefully place the set shredded meat inside the pasta ring.
Drizzle some of the blended cooking liquid over the meat in the center of the
springform pan. Sprinkle with the grated pecorino and bake in the oven for 25
minutes until warmed through and the tops is crispy and brown.
Serve with broccolini or other green vegetables.
Recipe by Gerrie Du Rand. Photos and styling by Michelle Parkin and Caro Alberts.