Monday, 12 September 2016
Braised Lamb Shanks with Autumn Vegetables
The nights here in Cheshire are drawing in. I don't like to see the end of summer but at the same time I always look forward to the good wholesome, warming meals of autumn and winter. There's nothing more indulgent to me than a good old lamb casserole especially if I can get hold of some great quality lamb shanks. The ones pictured here are Welsh Lamb, to my mind the very best lamb from anywhere in the world. We're less than an hour away from the Welsh borders so it's also very local.
These shanks were taken from the rear legs so they are really substantial. We had no problem though eating our huge portion as it was mouth-wateringly tender and absolutely delicious. I added carrots, parsnips, celeriac, new potatoes and beans from my plot towards the end of the braising but you can add whatever is seasonal.
This makes a great dinner party or supper dish as once it's all in the pot you can put your feet up and enjoy your guests whilst it's cooking. The bonus of course is that it's a one pot meal so there's very little washing up at the end of the evening.
The Ingredients:- for 4 people
4 lamb shanks
2 large onions Chopped into half moon slices
4 cloves of garlic crushed
½ pt Passata (pulped tomato) bought or homemade
2 lamb stock cubes
around ½pt hot water
1 Tbsp Redcurrant Jelly
2 tbsp oil either olive or rapeseed
few sprigs of fresh Thyme or ½ tsp dried
1 tbsp fresh chopped Rosemary
1 tsp fresly ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt ( or to taste)
For the Vegetables I used
2 medium parsnips cut lengthwise into large chips
3 large carrots cut into 2" chunks
1 medium celeriac cut into 1" dice
around 1lb of new potatoes... scrubbed not peeled
a good handful or so of green beans
Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large frying pan and fry the lamb shanks until browned on all sides.
Remove from the pan and place in a large ovenproof dish (that has a lid) I used my cast iron pot.
Add the other tbsp of oil to the pan and gently fry the onions until soft & starting to brown
Add the garlic and cook on for a few minutes
Remove and place into the dish with the lamb shanks
Add the red wine to the frying pan and stir up all those meaty, oniony bits left
Then add the Passata and stock cubes that have been dissolved in the hot water,
the Redcurrant Jelly, Rosemary and Thyme leaves, salt & pepper... stir well together.
Now pour everything into the pot with the lamb shanks & onions.
The liquid should come around half way up the lamb shanks...add a little more water if they don't but don't cover the lamb completely or you will be stewing it instead of braising. Place a firm fitting lid on the pot.
Place in the centre of a moderate oven 200C/400F for the first half an hour then turn down to 140C/275F and braise for around 1½ hours.
Remove from the oven and add all the chopped vegetables except the green beans. Return to the oven and cook until the vegetables are tender...probably another hour. Then add the green beans and cook on for 15-20 minutes when it should be ready for serving.
Check the seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
You can thicken the gravy slightly if you prefer it that way by adding 2 teaspoons of cornflour slaked in a little water.
Either serve immediately or this dish is perfect reheated as and when you need it.