Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lamb shanks with broad beans

Serves 4

If it's not a pie, it's got to be a braised dish, and lamb shanks don't often fail to hit the mark. This was last night's number, cooked the day before and reheated gently to devour - better depth of flavour and maturity on the 2nd day for sure. The juice, as much as the meat, is where this dish really is, rich and heady, mopped up with anything and everything that comes to hand, one of those nights where someone to offer a belly rub at the end of it all perfects the ultimate dining experience, for me anyway...

1 tblsp olive oil
4 lamb shanks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fresh bouquet garni (sprig each of parsley and thyme, and a bay leaf)
400ml white wine
400g new potatoes
400g shelled broad beans, individually skinned (see below)
2 tblsp chopped fresh mint
3 tblsp crème fraîche

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Lightly oil a roasting tin, add the lamb shanks and season, then place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes.

Add the onions, garlic and bouquet garni to the roasting tin and roast for a further 20 minutes.

Add the wine and new potatoes to the lamb, mix well with the juices and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Add the prepared beans and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

When the lamb is cooked through, remove from the roasting tin and keep warm. Place the tin directly on the stove top and bring the juices to a simmer. Stir in the chopped mint and crème fraîche.

Serve the lamb shanks in wide bowls and ladle in the vegetables and juice.

Note: to skin fresh broad beans, plunge them into a pan of boiling water for 4 minutes, then drain and peel off the skins. If using frozen beans they can be peeled once defrosted.