Incredible is right!
This is the third time I’ve cooked this dish, and it just keeps getting better. I’m especially proud of the fact that I don’t need to buy herbs for it – I have rosemary, sage and thyme growing in my garden!
It’s from Cook with Jamie. Mum has some of Jamie Oliver’s earlier books and I’ve made a few recipes from them, but Cook is a back-to-basics kind of recipe book. Jamie writes about which cut of meat is best for which purpose, and how to cut your veggies like a pro. I suppose it’s true to Jamie Oliver’s style – good food, done simply.
6 sprigs of rosemary
150g/5.5oz cold butter
15 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked from the stalk
sea salt and ground black pepper
4 lamb shanks, French-trimmed
12 cloves of garlic
2 large carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 leek, washed, halved and finely sliced
2 wineglasses of white wine
Heat your oven to 200°C/400°F.
Wiz the butter, leaves of 2 sprigs of rosemary, thyme and most of the sage in a food processor, then add some salt and pepper.
Use a knife (and an exploratory finger) to create a hole – then expand this to a ‘pocket’ – in the base of each lamb shank. Use said exploratory finger to stuff the herb butter into the pockets you’ve made. (I generally find I have a little butter left over – I rub this over the base and outside of the shank.)
Tear 4 long (arm length – or more, if you’re like me and only have little arms) strips of alfoil (tinfoil) and fold each in half. Split the carrot, leek, onion and garlic evenly to form a pile in the middle of each piece of alfoil. Rub the shanks with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper before placing each shank on top of a pile of veggies. Add a sprig of rosemary and a couple of leaves of sage to each, then pull up the sides of the foil. Have a helper add a good glug of white wine to each parcel (I lack the dexterity to do this step on my own; you may fare better than I), then seal the foil as best you can around the bone.
Place the shanks in a roasting dish, bones sticking up, and then into the oven for 2.5 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes. Jamie recommends a side of steamed greens, but I’ve never included those – we’ve always had enough to eat without more vegetables.
Today it took me about 30mins from picking the herbs to putting the dish into the oven. This is down from about an hour, the first time I made it. It’s great to be able to get it in the oven, then forget about it for two and a half hours.