Cooking magazines never tell you how hard it's going to be to find the ingredients. I went to four grocery stores to find "lamb shanks." I had no idea what I was looking for. I had to google image it just to have a clue :) Eventually, my husband stopped at a distant meat market on his way home from work and brought home the bacon baby :) I mean the lamb shanks :)
So this is what a lamb shank looks like :)
Right after this picture was taken, the fire alarm went off and the burglar alarm company called to see if our house was on fire. The kitchen was full of smoke from the vegetable oil getting too hot. I told the alarm representative that I was trying a new recipe and felt compelled to tell him what I was cooking. I don't think he cared. He said he'd ignore the alarm for the next 30 minutes to give me a chance to get the smoke out of the house. Thank God he did not send the fire department....because I would have to explain that really the Guiness beer is for the lamb and the Irish whiskey is for the cookies.
After the smoke cleared, here's one of the shanks browned. Does anyone else think it looks like a little pig's snout and head? Looks sort of cute. I should have stopped here but no......
Then came the boiling and the slow simmer in Guiness beer, beef broth and onions. This looks like the result of oil spill in need of a clean up!!
Then I added the "country vegetables" which in this recipe is code for vegetables you don't normally eat. The parsnips went limp in one day and were so bendy, it was almost unpeelable.
I was worried the meat would be tough....I may have overcooked it because I'm pretty sure there should be meat attached to this :) And then during the last 10 minutes of cooking, I added the prunes! Yes that what's this mess is screaming out for..."Prune Me"
At this point, even the cat is laughing at this mess.
This was as "pretty" as one of the shanks was going to get. I wouldn't make this recipe again. It was okay except for hunting for edible meat among the fat and bones. Of course my husband ate it and said it was wonderful...what does he know? He's been to military survival school and has eaten bats and tree roots (or maybe they were "country vegetables") so he doesn't have the most decerning tastebuds. Next St. Patrick's Day, I'll try bats and tree roots in Guiness :)
Lesson learned: If it provides me with yarn, don 't eat it. :)