Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Braised Lamb Shanks

This is an adaptation of a Gordon Ramsey recipe (1). I was impressed at how easy it was to make. I thought his recipes would be challenging and involved, but it was just fantastic, not hard. He says that the the shank is one of the easier cuts of lamb to cook and I can attest that this recipe was simple yet SO delicious that I found myself licking the sauce directly from the pan. It is possible that the sauce is the tastiest thing I have ever cooked. And that's saying a lot, because I have definitely cooked some impressive meals.

First you heat some olive oil in a large pan. Then you season the lamb shanks and brown them all over in the oil, then remove from the pan and set aside. This takes about 5-8 minutes per shank. I cook 2 shanks at a time and they turned out just fine.

After browning the shanks add a little olive oil, add the chopped vegetables, garlic, herbs and anise, and cook gently until browned. Pour in the wine and cook until it has reduced down to a syrup. Put the shanks back into the pan and pour on the stock. Season to taste.

Cover the pan and cook gently for 2½-3 hours until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.

About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, make the parsnips. Though this recipe is easy to make and yummy to eat, it takes quite a long time. By the end I was hungry and tired and so I decided to opt out of puréeing the parsnips and just sauted them instead. The whole thing was totally worth all the time I put in to it. I did not feel let down, but I do think that next time I will purée the parsnips, just to taste the recipe the way it was conceived.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat and cook the parsnips until completely soft and falling apart (about 25 minutes).

Remove the lamb shanks from the liquid and put in the oven to keep warm.

Now for the sauce! This sauce is amazing. It is so good that I would eat it with anything I possibly could. Even if there were nothing else there I would eat it plain by itself. In fact, there were leftovers after this meal, but I was out of bread to sop up the sauce. So, instead of bread I used tortilla chips. It was ghetto, but so good.

After you remove the shanks strain the stock and pour it back into the pan. and cook over a high heat until it forms a sauce consistency.

Serve each shank over the parsnips, and pour over the sauce. Eat and all your wildest foodie dreams will come true.


Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 small lamb shanks
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
½ a head of garlic
A sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf/a sprig of fresh rosemary/2 star anise 300ml dry white wine
1l chicken stock
100g butter
4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extracted from Kitchen Heaven by Gordon Ramsay, published by Michael Joseph on May 6 at £20, © Optomen Television and Gordon Ramsay, 2004.

1 comment:

  1. This lamb looks fantastic! I love how the bone sticks out like a little handle begging to be grabbed. I'm totally going to try this!