Lamb Shanks in Rose, for Game of Thrones Viewing Parties.

Lamb Tagine

Game of Thrones is a Big Deal in the Knowles/Roberts household, partly because, obviously, all the awesome sex and violence and dragons, but also because Jon drew a series of maps to illustrate the books, so we feel very invested in the world and its fortunes.

Every Sunday we host Game of Thrones viewings for friends and acquaintances without HBO. Some weeks this means just a couple of couples over for lamb shanks and cous cous. Other weeks, we pull out the folding chairs and cram the living room with people pre-gaming on penne alla vodka and salad.

One week, as the guests were arriving they met Jon in the lobby running out to buy two more bowls.

Thoughts on cooking for a crowd:

1 – count the bowls / plates and forks some time before a minute before the first guest arrives.

2 – ditto glasses.

3 – buy a huge pan. I have a five buck one from a stall in Chinatown that you could bath a baby in. Seriously. You can’t make pasta for 10 in a regular sized pot.

4 – or go the oven route – a couple of casserole dishes hold a lot of food

5 – this has the advantage of meaning you can make everything in advance

6 – economize. Pasta with tomato sauce and salad. Chicken thighs baked with lemon and chick peas into a tagine.  Chili. Pulled pork. This is not the time for individual fillet steaks.

7 – ice cream sundaes / Magnums / Popsicles. A crowd pleaser.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in Rose Wine

It’s the bones that make this seem so Game of Thrones appropriate.

4 lamb shanks or 500g lamb shoulder cut into bite sized cubes
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
200ml rosé wine (if you’re cooking 6 shanks, add 350ml wine)
100ml water
Sprig of rosemary
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cumin
A fist full of fresh parsley
1 pomegranate or 1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 300f
  • Season the lamb well, then brown in a hot pan that you can put in the oven later – cast iron strikes again – with a splash of olive oil for a few minutes per side Transfer to a plate to free up space in the pan
  • Slice the onions finely and add to the pan, with a splash more olive oil. Heat gently until soft (about 5 mins).
  • Once the onion is soft, grate in the garlic, pour in the wine and scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate them into the sauce
  • Put the lamb back in, add the cumin, rosemary, cinnamon and water, then bring everything up to a boil to get the stew started
  • Put the lid on the pan and put in the oven for 3.5 hours
  • Once the stew is cooked, squeeze over the pomegranate (if a few seeds fall in, that’s all to the good), and scatter over some chopped parsley
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