STELLAR SLOW COOKED LAMB SHANKS   (serves 2)Stellar Shanks promo.jpg

Ingredients :

2 tbsp olive oil

2 x 500g lamb shanks

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 sticks celery

1 large leek

2 carrots

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

10g salted butter

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine

2 bay leaves

2 tsp dried mint

400ml full bodied red wine

400ml lamb stock

125g cranberry sauce

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp plain flour.

Method :

1.  To begin, take the celery and remove the strings from the back of each stick.  Chop one and a half sticks finely and the remaining half, into bite sized pieces.  Place in separate bowls.  Chop two thirds of the leek finely and one third into bite sized pieces and place into the corresponding bowls so as to keep the finely chopped and bite sized pieces separate.  Chop two thirds of the peeled carrots finely and one third into bite sized pieces and place into the corresponding bowls.

2.  Take the parsley and remove the stalks from the leaves.  Chop the stalks and add to the finely chopped vegetables' bowl.  Reserve the chopped leaves for use later in the recipe.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until really quite hot.  Add the lamb shanks, sprinkle with a little sea salt & black pepper and sear them on all available sides until golden and caramelised.  Place them into the slow cooker with the bite sized vegetables and switch to low.

4.  Reduce the heat under the frying pan to moderate and add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and finely chopped vegetables.  Cook for some 5-10 minutes, until slightly softened.

5.  Add the butter, rosemary, dried mint, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6.  Stir to combine and allow to sweat and cook through a little more until the vegetables are somewhat transparent and softened and the herbs have become aromatic.

7.  Increase the heat under the pan, add the red wine and bring to a lively boil for some 2-3 minutes.

8.  Add the lamb stock, cranberry sauce, Worcestershire sauce and chopped parsley leaves.  Stir through and reduce the heat under the pan, back to moderate.

9.  Once the flavours have had 5 minutes or so to mingle, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  I doubt you will require more salt, but I needed to add more pepper at this stage.

10.  Place the flour into a small bowl and wet down with water until it forms a loose, pourable paste.

11.  Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the paste in a thin stream to the sauce, stirring very well and constantly.  Continue to stir until the paste has been accepted into the sauce.

12.  Pour the sauce into the slow cooker, giving everything a little stir to ensure everything is coated.  Replace the lid and cook for a minimum of 7 hours, returning to turn the shanks in the sauce, every 2 hours or so.  Depending on the size of your shanks, you may need to turn the slow cooker up to medium as you go.

13. When the cooking time is up, ladle the sauce from the slow cooker to a saucepan.  Turn the slow cooker to low in order to keep the shanks warm and run a slotted spoon through the sauce, returning any vegetables you may catch to the slow cooker.

14.  If necessary, you can skim any fat from the surface of the sauce, then bring to a gentle boil and allow it to reduce to a thicker, glossier appearance and an intensified flavour.  This is entirely to taste, so when you are happy with your sauce, you are ready to plate up.

Serve the shanks on buttery parsley mashed potatoes with the vegetables from the slow cooker, a selection of fresh vegetables and the gorgeous sauce poured over the shanks.  Heaven!

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