Braised Lamb Shanks recipe

Braised Lamb Shank

Serves 6

This lamb shank recipe roasts the lamb to start with rather than braises it, so seals the meat, which I prefer rather than a more anaemic looking, slightly fatty finished dish. This recipe is best cooked in a heavy based roasting pan or a large cast iron pan that will go in the oven as well as on the top of the cooker. It helps save the washing up! I find it is best made in the morning, sat somewhere cool and reheated for an hour. It also freezes well.


6 English lamb shanks trimmed of excess fat4 carrots peeled and roughly chopped4 sticks celery roughly chopped2 fennel bulbs trimmed and quartered4 banana shallots or 2 medium onions cut into quarters6 cloves garlic peeled and left whole� bottle dry white wine2tsp tomato puree1ltr good chicken stock2 sprigs of rosemary2 small sprigs of thyme 2 bay leaves2tsp redcurrant jelly

1 Toss the lamb shanks in oil and season, then lay them in a deep sided roasting tin and roast in the oven for a good 20 minutes until golden brown at 220C or in the roasting oven of an Aga. Turn them regularly whilst they are roasting so they brown evenly.

2 Once the shanks have browned, add the chopped vegetables, onion and garlic and return to the oven for another 5 minutes to seal the vegetables.

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3 Remove the tin from the oven and pour in half a bottle of white wine. If your roasting tin is heavy based, you can stand it on the hob over a high heat and boil for 5 minutes to reduce the alcohol. Otherwise, place the tin back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

4 Once the wine has boiled down, add the tomato puree, the chicken stock and herbs and return to the oven at 220C. The stock should come about a third of the way up the lamb shanks. If it starts to reduce too much during cooking, add some more chicken stock or water. Throughout the cooking process, baste and turn the lamb shanks about every 10-15 minutes.

5 After 1�-2 hours, depending on the size of the lamb shanks, remove the shanks from the tin and spoon the vegetables into a dish.

6 To make the gravy, skim off any excess fat from the stock, make a roux with a little butter and plain flour or cornflour and water. Add the roux to the stock and simmer gently on the hob until it thickens, adding the redcurrent jelly and more stock or water if needed. Taste and season.


7 Return the lamb shanks and the vegetables to the roasting tin, cover with tin foil and stand somewhere cool.


8 To reheat the dish, place the covered roasting tin in a preheated oven of 180C for a good 45 minutes to an hour, removing the tin for the last 10 minutes.


9 Serve with parsnip mash, saut� potatoes and winter vegetables.