I had Phil over yesterday evening for a spot of dinner and Doctor Who (we opted for episodes 1-3 of The Sea Devils, with episodes 4-6 to follow next week.) and so I flicked, once again, through the Great British Bake Off Winter Cookbook and found this recipe, It’s surprisingly flavoursome given how simple the ingredients are and the long cooking time means that the meat is so tender that it practically melts in the mouth.
However, if this were a Sherlock Holmes case it would have to be called The Case of the Misplaced Parsley. I needed parsley for the gremolata, I picked up parsley, I paid for parsley and then I lost parsley. I either left it at the supermarket or I’ve put it somewhere so remarkably obscure when I got home that I may not find it for weeks. So, in short, there was no gremolata to garnish the lamb with. Hey ho – not the end of the world. Wasabi mash and steamed spring greens complimented the dish well.
Serves 6 (when scaling it down I simply reduced the number of shanks I used, but kept all the other amounts the same.)
Olive oil for frying
6 lamb shanks (1 per person)
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 leek, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
500ml of white wine
300ml of hot lamb stock
2 fresh bay leaves
4 sprigs of rosemary
A knob of salted butter
Salt and black pepper
For the Gremolata:
A large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Finely grated zest of one lemon
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil, to bind
Pre-heat the oven to 160
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large, flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, then add them to the casserole and brown them on both sides. Remove and set aside.
Heat a little more oil in the casserole and fry the onion and leek over a gentle heat for 5 minutes or so until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a furter minute.
Return the lamb shanks to the pot and pour in the wine and stock. Season well with salt and pepper and add the bay leaves and rosemary.
Bring to the boil and then cover with the lid and then place in the oven for 2½-3 hours until the meat is falling from the bone.
Remove the lamb shanks from the casserole and set aside, covered loosely with foil to keep it warm.
Discard the bay leaves and rosemary stalks from the liquid and bring the sauce to the boil on the hob. Reduce it by half, until it’s nice and glossy and then whisk in the butter.
To make the gremolata mix together the parsley, lemon zest, garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the lamb topped with the onions from the casserole and with the sauce poured over. Then, as a final garnish then scatter the gremolata over the lamb.