Winter definitely has it's perks.
Lamb Shanks Braised with Beer, Honey and Oregano
adapted from here
4 frenched lamb shanks
4 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
1/12 teaspoon ground allspice
1 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 fresh bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
375ml (1 stubby) dark ale
200ml beef stock
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Drizzle the shanks with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season well with salt and pepper and rub them with the allspice.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the shanks in the pan, being careful not to burn the spices.
Remove the shanks from the pan and add the remaining oil. Turn the heat down to low and add the onion, carrot, garlic and oregano. Fry the vegetables for 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Return the shanks to the pan, add the bay leaves, honey, beer and stock. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
Make a cartouche by cutting a circle of baking paper big enough to fit into the Dutch oven. Screw it into a ball, run it under a tap, squeeze out the excess water, flatten it out and place it directly on top of the meat. Place the lid on the pan and cook in the oven to 3 hours. The meat will fall off the bones and the liquid will have reduced.
Serve with soft, cheesy polenta or mac 'n cheese or mashed potatoes or buttered noodles... and a bright, fresh salad.