braised lamb shanks with orange and lemonrating:
This recipe is based on one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (although, as usual, I've taken small liberties with the original).
1 or 2 lamb shanks, according to your appetite
1 carrot, diced finely
1 medium onion, diced finely
2 celery sticks, diced finely
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp olive oil
few sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
one dried red chilli
2 oranges, juice and finely grated zest (no pith)
1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest (no pith)
4 tbsp sieved roasted tomatoes (or 1 tbsp concentrated tomato purée)
¼ bottle white wine (approx ? maybe not quite so much)
salt and pepper
fresh parsley, chopped
In a suitable casserole dish, sweat the diced vegetables in some of the olive oil without browning until tender. Add the thyme, bay leaves, garlic, dried red chilli, tomato puree and wine along with most of orange zest and juice (retain a few pinches of zest and 1 tbsp of juice). Bring to the boil and lower to a gentle simmer.
Heat a little more olive oil in a separate pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides, seasoning with a little salt and pepper as you go.
Transfer to the casserole and cover with its lid. Cook in a preheated slow-moderate oven (about 150C/300F/Gas 2) until the meat is completely tender and coming off the bone ? about 2 hours should do it.
Remove the shanks from the pan and keep warm while you finish the sauce. Skim off some of the fat that is floating on it. Taste for seasoning and to assess its intensity. Boil to reduce if you think it needs it. Stir in the reserved juice to refresh the citrus flavour. Serve on a warmed plate with lots of sauce spooned over it, and garnish with a little parsley and a pinch of the reserved grated orange and lemon peel.Serve with something green plus boiled or mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce