I’m using my French clay pot for this recipe but you can use any oven pot you like, it’s all a question of low & slow cooking.
Different cultures have different techniques of cooking food in clay pots.
It is a very ancient and delectable way of cooking.
The food inside the pot loses little to no moisture because it is surrounded by steam, creating a tender, flavourful dish. Water absorbed within the walls of the pot prevents burning so long as the pot is not allowed to dry completely.
Native American civilizations traditionally cooked in clay pots, although they fell out of favour after European settlers' introduction of metal cookware. In the modern cuisine some cooks choose to use clay pots for health or environmental reasons.
Ingredients for five persons:
5 lamb shanks, 1.5kg La Ratte potatoes (small potatoes), 200gr duck fat (or olive oil), 1 onion, 8 garlic cloves, 150gr almonds, 200gr dried prunes, ½ bunch fresh thyme, 3 tbsp herbs de Provence, 5 bay leaves, 1 tbsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns, salt
Salt and pepper the lamb shanks and let them come to room temperature.
Chop the onion and the garlic cloves finely.
Meld the duck fat on low heat (lukewarm)
Add the potatoes in a large bowl or container.
Add the onion and garlic, almonds, prunes, pepper & salt, herbs the Provence, and the mustard seeds and mix with the potatoes.
Add the melted duck fat (or olive oil) and mix well again with the potatoes.
Place the thyme and bay leaves on the bottom of the clay pot or oven pot.
Place the lamb shanks on the verge of the oven pot and fill the middle with the potatoes.
If you use an oven plate, place the lamb shanks above the potatoes.
Close the oven pot with a lid or aluminium foil.
Place the pot in a cold oven and set the heat on 160 to 170°C.
Cooking time is various from 2 to 2 ½ hours, it depends on the size of you lamb shanks.