Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks were a once underrated piece of meat and had fallen very much out of favour for a number of years. Thankfully these gems which are both full of delicious flavour, and economical, have made a big comeback. I had never eaten them growing up and I distinctly remember the first time cooking them. My sister was coming to stay and we had just had our first child, so in an effort to prove that I was finding motherhood a breeze ( I wasn’t ) I decided to cook an elaborate dinner, one I’d never tried before….big mistake!! I can still feel the overwhelming stress of looking at these pieces of what I thought were fatty bones, having no clue how to unlock their flavour. Thankfully all they need is to be briefly browned and a long slow cooking and you will be rewarded with the most succulent meat imaginable. Last Sunday I couldn’t decide which way I wanted to cook them and had looked at a number of recipes, then I looked in my fridge and between the two pulled this together…it was so good, rich and comforting and very moreish.

Ingredients
4 Lamb Shanks
2 Large Leeks,  tops removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
6/8 Carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Onion
250 ml of Red Wine
Lamb/Beef Stock
1or 2 Tablespoons of Flour
100g of herb butter (see below)
For the Herb Butter
100g of soft butter
Small bunch of some sage, thyme and rosemary leaves picked and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Some sea salt
Begin by making herb butter, simply mash all ingredients together and set aside.
 
In a large casserole dish add a small amount of rapeseed/olive oil and bring the heat up high. 
Brown the lamb shanks, 2 at a time, until mostly brown all over.
 Remove to a bowl and bring the heat back down to medium. Now add your onions and other vegetables, allow these to cook for a few minutes and then add in your herb butter. When this has melted add your flour and stir for 2 minutes and slowly add the red wine. 
When the wine is bubbling add back in the lamb shanks. Add enough stock to partially cover the lamb, you can leave a little bit exposed.
Bring it back to the boil and then place it in a low oven, about 140, for 3 hours. Check half way and if sauce is starting to dry a little just add some more stock. 
Serve with some mashed potatoes and try not to let anyone see you licking your plate 😉

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