Braised lamb shanks


Northern Ireland is full of great quality lamb farmers. Try to find the best local lamb for this recipe.
The shanks must be cooked very slowly, at below simmering point. This will allow the lamb to stay moist and tender. If the lamb is cooked at too high a temperature it will toughen and become stringy.
This is a great dish for a Autumn dinner party as the entire dish can be made in advance, just leaving you to gently reheat when your guest arrive.


For the lamb shanks;

1tblsp olive oil
6 lamb shanks
Seasoned flour
1 onion diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 leek, white part only, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 white peppercorns
1 bay leaf
½ bottle of good quality red wine
Chicken or beef stock to cover

To serve;

12 medium shallots
6 baby turnips
3 small carrots, peeled and halved


For the lamb shanks;

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof casserole dish, large enough to hold the 6 shanks. Toss the lamb shanks in seasoned flour and fry in frying pans in batches until golden brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, celery, leeks and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns and bay leaves, cook for 5mins then deglaze with red wine, reduce by half.
Place the stock into a large pan and bring to the boil. Place the shanks back into the casserole dish on top of the vegetables and cover with hot stock. Cover with foil and place in the oven and cook at 180c for 2½ - 3 hours or until the meat is tender and falling from the bone. Very gently, as the shanks will be extremely delicate, transfer the shanks to a tray with a slotted spoon, cover with foil and keep warm.

To serve;

Strain remaining stock through a very fine sieve and skim the fat from the surface. Bring the stock back to the boil and reduce by two thirds, skimming frequently. When reduced add the shallots, turnips and carrots, turn to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through. At this point the stock should have a lovely shinny glaze.
Place the shanks back into the reduce stock and coat with the shinning glaze.
Serve in the middle of the table for everyone to share.

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