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Christmas Presents

Italian-style lamb shanks

EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4

* (lamb only)

Ready in about 2 hours 30 minutes

Low-calorie cooking spray

4 lean lamb shanks, visible fat removed

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked

2 large sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

1.2 litres lamb or chicken stock

2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped

4 large celery sticks, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

400g can chopped tomatoes

4 strips unwaxed lemon zest

200g green beans, to serve

1 small cauliflower, broken into florets, to serve

For the gremolata:

1 small garlic clove

½ small pack fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 small strip unwaxed lemon zest

1 Preheat your oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Spray a large, lidded, non-stick ovenproof saucepan or flameproof casserole dish (in which the shanks will fit snugly) with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Cook the shanks until browned all over, then lift out onto a plate.

2 Reduce the heat to low and spray the pan with a little more low-calorie cooking spray. Add the onions, rosemary and thyme leaves and 4 tbsp stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Uncover, increase the heat and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the carrots, celery, remaining stock, bay leaves, tomatoes and lemon zest and season with freshly ground black pepper. Return the lamb to the pan, bring to the boil, then cover and put in the oven to cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.

3 Remove the lamb from the oven. Skim any residual fat off the surface of the stew then turn over the shanks, re-cover and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the lamb is really tender. Discard the bay leaves and season to taste.

4 Boil the beans for 3-4 minutes and the cauliflower for 5-10 minutes, or until tender, then drain. For the gremolata, chop the garlic, parsley and lemon zest together on a board. Divide the lamb and veg between 4 bowls, scatter over the gremolata and add freshly ground black pepper.

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Super-charge your slimdown with the October issue of Slimming World magazine! See results in just 7 days with our make-it-happen eating plan; meet 10 real-life slimmers who between them have lost an amazing 79st; and serve up your favourite pub grub from our low-Syn menu board. Plus discover how to build your own support squad, change your weight-loss destiny and get moving with walking sports. Download your issue now and make it an awesome autumn!

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