Guinness lamb shanks with dark sticky gravy
Another cooker-top slow cooked lamb recipe. This one from Jamie Oliver's new book: "Jamie's Great Britain" uses lamb shanks. After 3 hours cooking they just disintegrate and soak up the sticky sweet gravy - wonderful!
Jamie comes up trumps again with this book, a big coffee table hardback, full of neat twists on standard recipes. It's a bit pricey at £30, but you can probably find a copy for less than a tenner if you shop around:
- "Jamie's Great Britain" - Jamie Oliver: ISBN 978-0718156817
- Olive oil for sautéing
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 red onions, peeled and chopped
- 70g of dried mixed fruit (raisins, sultanas & dried apricots)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of chunky marmalade
- 1 tablespoon of Heinz tomato sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 200 ml Guinness, porter or brown ale
- 4 lamb shanks
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (see ingredients photo)
- 500 ml chicken stock
- A Large sprig of mint leaves
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large spring onions
- 5 tablespoons Cider vinegar
- A handful of mint leaves, picked from the stems
Mint oil Make this now so it has time to infuse
- Add the chopped picked mint leaves to a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of sea salt and crush well
- Mix with 5 tablespoons of olive oil, set to one side
- A a slug of olive oil to a large metal pan, add a good grind of black pepper, heat the oil and add the onions and a pinch of salt.
- Sauté for 5 or 6 minutes until they have take some colour.
- Lower the heat a little and stir in the stock, Guinness, dried fruit, marmalade, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce - leave a little Guinness to de-glaze the frying pan later.
- Mix well and keep it simmering while you brown off the lamb shanks
- Brown the lamb shanks, two at a time in a large frying pan. Use a little little olive oil to start them off.
- Keep turning them until they have take some colour and add the browned shanks to the onions when they are done.
- Add a little more oil and sauté the rosemary sprigs, being careful not to burn them.
- Add the whole rosemary sprigs to the casserole dish, de-glaze the pan with the last drop of Guinness and pour it all into the casserole.
- Place a lid on the casserole dish and simmer quite vigorously for about 3 hours. Turn the shanks about halfway through, being careful not to let them break up.
- Carefully remove the cooked shanks and keep warm.
- Remove the rosemary sprigs and discard.
- Whizz the gravy mixture into a smooth sauce using a food processor or a stick blender.
- Return to the heat and reduce the gravy by about half. This might take up to 15 minutes but it's better to reduce and concentrate the flavour rather than by adding a thickening agent.
- Allow up to 40 minutes to cook your Mashed potatoes
Spring onion dressing
The original recipe used 1 litre of stock and 200 ml Guinness (for 6), even so I would think that was too much. I used a total of 850 ml and that was really more than was needed - it took a vigorous 15 minute reduction to get it any where close to sticky.
Making it again, as long as the casserole was not too large, I would sit the shanks thick-side down, add the ale and then top-up with enough stock to the cover the start of the bone.
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