Lamb shanks are such an easy way to indulge whilst still ensuring portion control. I choose to go organic when making this dish as much as possible as it's the sort of thing we enjoy once every other month as it's such a generous portion and it's so indulgent and actually can be quite a heavy dish depending on the shank sizes. I like to think of it as a reward meal!
I like to have a rich gravy sauce and opt for no red wine in the dish to keep the flavours mellow and to allow for the inclusion of children without having to think about alternative ingredients!
You'll need a large oven-safe dish depending on how many shanks you're using. I intentionally did this in two dishes because I'm aware not everyone has the arsenal of kitchenware I've got going on. If you can fit all in one dish please do as the veggies get the most beautiful flavour cooking in the lamb gravy 😋.
You will need per person...
1 lamb shank
5 chestnut mushrooms
1/2 a courgette
1 medium carrot
1/2 medium red onion
If you've got kids joining the table, add 100g diced lamb per child and halve all the vegetable portions except the potatoes.
To season, per lamb shank...
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 serrano chilli-minced (optional..I used scotch bonnets)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp all-purpose seasoning (mix 1/4tsp each of nutmeg, cumin, coriander, paprika, celery salt and black pepper as substitute)
1/2 a knorr beef stock pot
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly chopped basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 small bay leaves
A sprinkle of ginger and chilli
1 tsp all purpose seasoning
1/2 tsp olive oil
-Preheat the oven to 180°Cfan/200°C standard oven.
-Peel the carrots and onions and wash all the vegetables under cold running water before chopping.
-Each of the carrots and courgettes should be halved and then halved again lengthways. The onions cut into 8 wedges, potatoes into 4, mushrooms halved.
-The lamb shanks get a simple slit along the bone from a cm into the top to a cm before the bottom.
-In a large frying pan, add the butter until it starts to melt, then add the oil.
-Then add the minced ginger, peel and smash the garlic with the side of the knife and add this too along with the minced chillies if using them. Add the herbs and seasoning
-Add the shanks to the pan, as many as you can at a time and brown on all sides to seal the meat.
-Don't forgt to do the flat tops as well...
-Transfer the shanks to your oven safe dish, add the bay leaf to the shanks, then turn back to the pan and add the stock pot to the pan allowing it to dissolve before adding the prepped cartots, onions and mushrooms to it.
-Top with as much water as will fit in your pan then pour over the lamb, scooping out the vegetables first.
-Any excess liquid should be reserved to be added later in the cooking process.
-Toss the potatoes in the warm pan briefly with a little sprinkle of black pepper if you want and then add to the dish.
-Don't forget to turn off the hob at this point.
-Cover with foil (if you don't have lidded ovenware) and set aside whilst you sort the remainder of the vegetables...courgettes, potatoes etc into the hot pan.
-Toss with the vegetable seasoning and a sprinkle of ginger and chilli and add the second bay leaf, then cover also with foil.
- Place both dishes into your hot oven, lamb in the middle and veggies nearer the top and set a timer for an hour.
- After an hour, remove the vegetables from the oven and leave covered on the side.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and top up with the remainder of the liquid from before if it didn't all fit initially.
-Turn the shanks and cover again, then return to the oven for another 2hrs.
-Remove from the oven after the 2hrs are up and put the vegetables back in the oven, turning off the oven and leaving the meat to rest and the vegetables to warm up for 10mins before serving.
-Taste the gravy and if it's too rich, water it down at this point with 100ml of hot water and put on the hub until it boils, transfer to a gravy pot, ready to serve.