Hi There, I am hoping to cook Nigella's Lamb Shank Stew but I am not keen on lentils and want to leave them out and serve with a dollop of mash instead. Is this still okay to cook the night before and then reheat? Do you leave the shanks in with the sauce overnight? Thank you for your help! Julia
Nigella's Aromatic Lamb Shank Stew (from Nigella Bites and on the Nigella website) is an Indian influenced dish with garlic, ginger and spices. Six tablespoons of red split lentils are added to the stew towards the end of the cooking time. The lentils are not a substantial part of the dish, but are added to help thicken the sauce. It is possible to make the stew without the lentils, though you may find that the sauce is slightly thinner.
Fortunately most stews, and certainly this lamb shank stew, are perfect make ahead dishes and taste better the next day. This will not change if you omit the lentils. You should cool the stew as quickly as possible and refrigerate it within 2 hours. You can cool the shanks in the sauce, though if you find it quicker to cool the shanks and sauce separately you can do this and then put the shanks back into the sauce before refrigerating. To reheat the stew, put it in a large saucepan and reheat very gently, until the shanks are piping hot all of the way through.