Recipe: Alexandra's Braised Lamb Shanks
This is a very special dish to me as it’s my Mum’s recipe & was always the first thing I asked for when home in winter. It has stood the test of time & is just as delicious as I remember.
Every time Mum made this dish it was always better than the last time – she, like me, couldn’t follow recipes, especially her own! I think this is where I where I got my understanding of how to make & build on dishes/recipes.
Lamb shanks 4 each
Lemon thyme 1 tbsp
Rosemary 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves 4 each
Orange zest & segments 2 oranges
Dry white wine 120 mL
Cinnamon stick 1 each
Star anise 2 each
Vegetable stock 1L (equal to Coca Cola, enough to cover the shanks)
Coca Cola 1L (equal to veg stock, enough to cover the shanks)
Chestnuts 12 chestnuts ( 3 each per 1 shank)
(Butter 1 tbsp)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Deeply score the chestnuts lengthwise, then place in deep fryer to remove skins. Alternatively, if you don’t have the option to deep fry, braise the chestnuts (deep frying is the better option for a perfect, golden chestnut).
Season the lamb and place in a deep tray and deglaze with white wine. Add the herbs, spices and orange zest and segments, then add Coca Cola and vegetable stock. Cover with a cartouche or baking paper (all ingredients should be covered) and a lid and cook in oven at 180 degrees for 1.5-2 hours, delicately turning the shanks occasionally.
Once the meat is starting to look like it will fall off the bone, remove the lid and cartouche/baking paper and the cinnamon stick. Add the peeled chestnuts and cook in the oven for a further 40 minutes uncovered so that the juices thicken slightly.
If not serving straight away, heat the lamb shanks in a pan with the sauce and butter until they are a rich deep red colour. Sticky, sticky goodness! I like to serve the shanks sitting on some green leaves/veg tossed in confit lemon and cauliflower puree to round off this rich, wintry dish, but potato mash or roast veggies are both superb accompaniments, too. Enjoy!