Take a butcher’s at this tasty dish

The Cooking School / Matthew Benson-Smith
The Cooking School / Matthew Benson-Smith

Braised Lamb Shank with Olives

This slow cooked lamb dish is perfect for National Butchers’ Week, now in its seventh year.

Ask your butcher for shanks that will roll well into the herbs and then cook it slowly in a low heat oven. This recipe includes a delicious

glossy sauce made from the cooking juices, so it would be rude to not serve it with creamy mashed potato and seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients

4 lamb shanks

2 tablespoons olive oil

500ml good red wine

1 onion – peeled and roughly chopped

1 garlic bulb – cut in half cross wise

2 sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme

1.5l beef stock

salt and ground black pepper

1 lemon

100g black/green olives

Equipment

- chopping board

- sharp knife

- oven proof dish

- measuring jug

How to make it

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF/ gas 2. Sprinkle a chopping board with salt and freshly ground pepper, then roll each lamb shank over the board to cover lightly with seasoning.

2. In a large ovenproof casserole dish heat the oil. Once hot, two at a time, brown the lamb shanks. Remove the lamb shanks and keep to one side. Pour in the red wine, bring to a gentle boil, leave to simmer until reduced by half. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon, olives and finally the lamb shanks.

3. Pour in enough beef stock to cover the meat. Don’t worry if the bones are sticking out, this is fine, and it is also fine if you have stock left over. You may need this to top the shanks up from time to time. Bring back to a simmer then cover the dish and place in the oven. Cook for three hours, checking from time to time that the meat is still covered in stock and top up as necessary and also occasionally turn the shanks.

4. Once cooked, remove the shanks and keep them warm. Place the casserole on the hob and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Whisk in the cold butter to create a really glossy sauce. Check the seasoning then strain the sauce.