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Lamb Shanks and Lentils

9 Lamb shanks
2 lg Leeks, chopped
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
2 Rashers bacon, chopped
500 g Brown lentils
1 Sliced carrot
1 Stalk celery, sliced
1 tb Chopped fresh oregano
Red wine *
Salt and pepper to taste

* Red wine and water to cover.

Lamb shanks, which cost next to nothing, develop a succulent gelatinous quality when cooked slowly, and saturate the lentils with flavour.

In a little olive oil, brown nine lamb shanks (get the butcher to saw them into pieces) on all sides. Transfer to a large pan. In the same oil, fry 2 large leeks, 3 cloves garlic, chopped together with 2 rashers of bacon, chopped, until the leeks are soft.

Add the onion and bacon mixture to the saucepan, then add 500 g brown lentils, a sliced carrot, a stick of celery, sliced, a tablespoonful of chopped fresh oregano (or use dried) and cover with a mixture of red wine and water. Do not season at this stage.

Cook very slowly for about 2 hours or until the lamb shanks are very tender. Check from time to time to make sure the pot does not boil dry and add more liquid if necessary.

Towards the end of the cooking time, taste and season. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter liberally with chopped parsley.

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