Lamb shank

This recipe for lamb uses lamb shanks that are slow cooked for great taste.  This lamb shank recipe is great served with potatoes and vegetables.

Ingredients – 2 portions

  • Lamb shanks: 2 at 400g each
  • Vegetable oil: 2tbs
  • Shallots: 6
  • Button mushrooms: 100g
  • Carrots (chantenay): 100g
  • Swede: 100g
  • Turnip: 100g
  • Celery: 100g
  • Tomato puree: 1/2tbs
  • Dry white wine: 75ml
  • Chicken stock: 1ltr
  • Sea salt / pepper: to taste
  • Bouquet garni
  • Watercress garnish

Getting everything ready

  • Make the chicken stock.
  • Peel the shallots and leave them whole.
  • Wash the small Chatenay carrots and give them a gentle scrub.  Then, cut off the top and tail and leave the carrots whole, all roughly the same size.
  • Wash and peel the swede and cut the swede into large dice.  Then, wash and peel the turnip and cut into a large dice.  If you like, it is nice to try to shape them into small barrel shapes (‘turning’) about the same size as the carrots.  It all helps with the final presentation.  Keep the trimmings for soups or stocks, etc.
  • Wash the celery.  Then, peel away the stringy bits and cut into large diamond shapes.
  • Wipe the mushrooms with a clean damp cloth and leave whole.
  • Wash and dry the sprigs of rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and parsley stalks.  Then, tie together to make a small bundle of fresh herbs in a bouquet garni.
  • Wash and dry the watercress for garnish.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (Gas Mark 3).

Method

  1. Season the lamb shanks with a little salt and pepper.  Then, pour the oil into a heavy-based frying/sauté pan and place on the hob over a medium heat.  When hot, place the lamb shanks into the pan.  Because we want to seal and colour the lamb, keep turning to get a nice even colour.  Remove from the pan and place into an ovenproof casserole dish with a lid.
  2. Next, add all the vegetables to the sauté pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Then, stir in the tomato purée and add the wine.  Allow the wine to evaporate.  Next, pour in the stock and add the bundle of herbs.  Then, bring to the boil, season to taste and ladle over the lamb shanks.
  3. Place the lid on the ovenproof dish and put it in the pre-heated oven and allow to slowly braise for about 2½ hours.  Baste the lamb shanks from time to time and skim off any excess fat if necessary.  After about 2½ hours the lamb shanks should be well cooked and just about falling off the bone.
  4. Remove the lamb shanks from the oven and throw away the bundle of herbs because their job is done.  Then, carefully take out the lamb shanks and place them onto a dish, cover with foil and keep warm.
  5. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan.  Then, put all the vegetables into another clean dish, cover and keep warm.
  6. Place the saucepan of liquid onto the hob over a medium heat and allow to reduce by about a third to make the gravy.  Then, if you wish to make it a little thicker, mix a little cornflour with a touch of cold water into a smooth paste and slowly add to the boiling gravy until you have the consistency you require.
  7. Spoon a touch of the gravy into the bottom of warmed large bowls.  Next, spoon in some of the vegetables and neatly add the lamb shanks.  Then, spoon over a little more gravy.
  8. Garnish with a nice sprig or two of watercress and serve immediately with the lamb shank.
  9. A few small boiled Charlotte potatoes have been added to complete the plate.

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Watch a lamb shank being cooked

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