Why hello there!
It’s been a little while since I last posted a recipe. I took a couple of weeks off after I had laser eye surgery.
I won’t lie. It was f***ing terrifying. I’m so glad to be on the other side. It’s absolutely wild – I can see with my own eyes! I know it sounds super cheesy but it really was life changing for me. My prescription used to be so high (-7.5 if that means anything to you), so anything beyond about 20cms in front of me would have been a bit of a blur. It’s been an emotional and overwhelming ride!
Since then, there have been so many times, like when I wake up, and habitually start scrambling about for my glasses on my bedside, before I realise – wait, I can see!! I’ve worn glasses since I was a kid, so we’re talking over 20 years now. I’m still not used to my face in the mirror without my glasses. It’s all a bit alien!
Even photographing today’s recipe was a bit of a surreal experience!
With the Easter bank holiday weekend right around the corner, I figured now was as good a time as any to share a lamb recipe. It’s the perfect time to slow cook and feast!
Slow cooked, fork-tender lamb shanks, braised in a herby, garlicky tomato sauce, with sweet chantenay carrots and onions, served on a bed of creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes.
^ I’m sure you can tell this is gonna be delicious. I took the extra time (read: 5 mins) to sear the vegetables, caramelising them for extra flavour.
That’s the thing, this recipe is all in the prep, it takes maybe 15mins to properly sear the meat and the veg. Then it’s as simple as dumping everything into a casserole pot, topping with the braising liquids and herbs, before popping the whole lot in the oven.
2.5-3hrs later, you’re rewarded with this:
Three quarters of the way through you can whip up some delicious mash – I’m talking cream, cheese and butter. Oh yes.
If you’re anything like me, you can double up on the mash to have some on standby for another meal too.
Top with fresh herbs and tuck straight in. No knife needed.
- 2 lamb shanks (approx 1kg)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 small white onions
- 6 chantenay carrots
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 500g passata
- 3 cloves garlic (diced into small chunks)
- 5 cloves garlic (whole)
- 2 litres stock (I used veggie but lamb would be best)
- Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons cornflour
- Fresh parsley and thyme to serve
- 500g potatoes
- 50g salted butter
- Salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
- 100ml double cream
- 100g cheddar cheese
- Take your lamb shanks out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking to bring up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
- Place your casserole pot on the hob at a high heat. Meanwhile, pat dry your lamb shanks. Once the pan has heated, reduce to medium, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot then sear the shanks, turn every minute or so till it’s browned. My pot is quite small so I had to do one at a time.
- One done, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, add the onions and carrots. Allow to brown before turning.
- Add the garlic and herbs. Stir for a couple of minutes until slightly browned and fragrant.
- Remove everything from the pot. Carefully place the lamb shanks back in before re-adding the vegetables. If you’re using a small pot, ensure everything fits properly and the lid hooks on without any issues.
- Remove lid, top with the stock and passata. Ensure the meat is properly submerged in liquid – if required, add more stock.
- Heat through until it reaches a slow simmer, replace lid and transfer the pot to the oven. Leave uninterrupted for 2.5 hours.
- Remove lid and cook for another 20 minutes in the oven.
- Remove pot from the oven and place on the hob. Use a pair of tongs to carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the sauce, cover with tin foil and set aside to rest.
- Add the cornflour to a bowl before adding a 2 cups of the sauce from the pot. Mix well to combine with a fork, ensuring no lumps remain. Pour the cornflour slurry back into the pot, mix and allow to cook and thicken for a further five minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened up, pour through a sieve to remove all the soggy herbs.
- Fill a medium saucepan, three quarters full with water. Place on a high heat until it reaches boiling point.
- Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes into quarters before placing into the saucepan.
- Boil till fork tender then drain water.
- [Optional] If you want it to be extra smooth, you can press the potatoes through a sieve first.
- Add the butter, cream, cheese and salt. Use a potato masher to smash and bring it all together.
- Add a few heaped tablespoons of mash potato to the plate, smear around with the back of the spoon to get an even, circular spread with a dent / hole in the middle.
- Place the lamb shank on top and add the carrots / onions as desired.
- Top with the prepared sauce and sprinkle with fresh herbs.