Sunday, 25 April 2010

Lamb shanks & butter bean mash

For lamb shanks

Serves 4

4 lamb shanks
2 garlic bulbs, unpeeled, cloves separated
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 onions, peeled and quartered
few springs of rosemary, leaves picked
few springs of thyme (optional)
2 large glasses dry red wine (I used shiraz, I like its spicy flavours in meat marinade, cabernet sauvignon will be fine)
freshly ground black pepper

Tear off four pieces of tinfoil large enough to make parcels for lamb shanks.

Divide the garlic, onions and chopped celery between them, making a pile in the middle of each square. Place the lamb shanks on the top of each pile and season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with rosemary and thyme. Carefully pull up the sides of the foil around the shank and pour a half of glass of wine into each. Gather the foil around the bone, pinching it together tightly.

You can leave it to marinate for few hours, but it is not necessary. If marinating remove them from a frige at least 30 minutes before roasting.

Place them in an ovenproof dish. Preheat the oven to 150 C and roast lamb shanks for about 3 hours. Meat will be very tender.

Before serving remove meat from the parcels and using a sieve save juices and remove all the veg and herbs. You can place it in a saucepan, add some cream and flour and boil for 2-3 minutes until thicken. I leave it as it is and serve on the side in a gravy boat.

I served lamb shanks with boiled green beans with some melted butter and glazed baby carrots (boil them al dente, drain and place in the pan with some butter and 2-3 sprinkles of muscovado sugar, fry for 5 minutes). Also I have made a bean mash (as seen in one of Nigella Lawson's books), because I think beans go very well with the lamb.

Butter bean mash

Serves 4

3x400g tinned butter beans
spring of rosemary
garlic clove, unpeeled and lightly crushed
6 tbsp olive oil (sometimes beans "take" more)

Place olive oil, garlic glove and rosemary spring on a pan and fry for 3-5 minutes until olive oil is infused. Remove rosemary and garlic and discard.

Drain the beans and add to the pan, cover and after 5 minutes season with salt and mash them using potato masher until smooth. If is too dry add some extra olive oil or butter.

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