Cookbook 95: the CSIRO total wellbeing diet

The CSIRO total wellbeing diet is a high protein, low carb diet put together by the CSIRO (and the Australian meat industry).  As it is very vegetarian unfriendly, I cooked a casserole from this book on a day when no vegetarians were present.  Also, being a book full of meat, there were no vegetable side-dishes or main dishes to cook.  That said, even though it’s a diet I’m not following, nor likely to in the near future, it has some fantastic recipes inside.  Being meat focussed means that you need to have access to a decent butcher, and a lot of money.  For the recipes alone, I recommend the book, you can ignore all the diet stuff at the beginning (I know I do).  My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Lamb shanks

Serves 4


  • 2 kg lamb shanks (200g meat per person), on the bone
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 stalks parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 160C
  2. Heat a large, enamelled cast-iron casserole dish over high heat.  Coat shanks with oil and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until well-browned.  Remove shanks to a plate.
  3. Add garlic, onion and celery to the casserole and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add wine, stock, lemon zest, parsley stalks and bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Return shanks to casserole dish and lightly season.  Cover with lid and cook, in the oven, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat begins to fall off the bone.
  4. Check seasoning, then garnish with parsley.  Serve with steamed vegetables.

Notes on this recipe:

  • Lamb shanks are my favourite
  • This recipe is entirely gluten free, but does require expensive equipment (specifically the cast-iron casserole dish).
  • I really like lamb shanks
  • We served this with roast vegetables because… well roast vegetables are tasty.


    • mscate on 08/12/2014 at 3:00 am

    ooh i haven’t had lamb shanks since I was in Australia, lamb is rarely available over here…

      • bluebec on 08/12/2014 at 7:11 am

      Hello Cate. I hadn’t thought so much about how lamb is more an English (and Australian, South Africa (probably), and NZ) foodstuff than continental Europe. I’d be sad if I couldn’t have lamb.

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