I know, I know, I say it every time.  Mexican rocks!  How can a cuisine be so awesome?  What makes them so special?  Who do they think they are to come up with the perfect balance of flavours, the most tender meat and sensational accompaniments?  Well, they’re not.  There is a new Mexican on the block who is proud to say that these delectable tasty morsels were her own creation.  Ok, I have had a little practice with other Mexican delights but these melt in your mouth, slow cooked lamb shank tacos were off the charts.  Like, totally Amigos.

*There is no excuse not to cook these just because you think you can’t get Ancho Chillies.  You can buy them on line from numerous places,    and are three places I have found them.  Essential Ingredient and Gourmet food shops should also stock them.

Prep time:  40  minutes           Cooking time:  7 I am not leaving the house while it smells this good Hours         $  Low Budget

Serves 4-6

4 Lamb shanks   (you could use a lamb shoulder ……say 1kg)

2 tbs of olive oil

2 dried ancho chillies*

4 cloves of garlic

1 tomato, roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lime

2 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional)

8 sprigs of coriander

Sea salt

10-12 mini corn or wheat tortillas

1 cup of sour cream

2 tbs of lime juice

For the Slaw:

8 savoy cabbage leaves, finely chopped

1 baby fennel bulb, finely sliced (tips reserved)

4 radishes, halved and very thinly sliced

1/2 a cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Onion Salsa:

1 red onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced top to bottom

1 green chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed optional)

1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 a lime

2 tbs of red wine vinegar

1 tsp of caster sugar

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Fennel fronds, finely chopped

Ok, I broke all my own rules here because I literally forgot to brown the lamb shanks.  You can if you like but I am not sure the flavour of the lamb could get any better.

Place the ancho chillies in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.  Do NOT drain the water.

To make the paste place the ancho chillies, garlic, tomato, lime juice, paprika, cumin seeds, chilli flakes, coriander and olive oil in a mixing bowl and blitz with a hand blender to make a coarse paste.  use the ancho chilli water to thin it out once it is blitzed.  You can place all the ingredients in a food processor if you don’t have a hand blender.

Place the lamb shanks in the slow cooker and pour the paste over. make sure all shanks are covered with the paste.  tear off a piece of baking paper and tuck them in nice and tight.  Place the slow cooker on low for 8 hours, turning occasionally, if you are home.  Remove from the slow cooker and remove the meat from the shanks.  Shred it with two forks, place it in a baking tray and spoon over any remaining sauce from the slow cooker.  Mix it all together, cover and keep warm.

For the slaw, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

For the onion salsa, place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and toss to combine.  The longer the onion sits, the better it gets.

Mix the sour cream and lime juice together.

Heat the tortillas to your preferred method.  (instructions are on the back of the packet)

To serve, place a small amount of salad on the tortilla.  Spread a generous helping of the lamb on top and drizzle over the sour cream.  Top with the sweet onion salsa and absolutely wrap your laughing gear around it!