Lamb Shanks With Roast Root Vegetables
4 lamb shanks (oven ready)
15-30ml/1-2 tbsps vegetable oil
250g/9oz each of carrots, parsnips and turnips, cut into chunks
8 shallots, peeled
4 sprigs of rosemary
2 garlic cloves, chopped
A little salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps parsley and chives, chopped
Flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
The 'lamb' we get at this time of year is actually hogget, ie, one-year-old sheep, making it a bigger animal. This means that roasting joints feed more mouths and all the meat is better value.
Everybody loves shank of lamb and, although it's one of the most popular dishes on menus, it's easy and healthy to cook at home, as this recipe from Tim O'Sullivan of Renvyle House Hotel in Connemara (www.renvyle.com) showed in a recent IHF Happy Heart promotion.
Quantities are given for four, but lamb shanks vary in size and a large shank should serve two people. It's worth cooking additional shanks while you're at it -- any extras can be frozen with their vegetables for a quick, hearty meal that you'll be glad to come home to. Or, if you have leftover meat it can be used to make a tasty lunch the next day (see next recipe). Serves four.
1 Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove the shanks and lightly brown the vegetables. Remove the vegetables.
2Put the shanks and juices back into the casserole with the rosemary and garlic and half a glass of water. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cover and cook gently for one-and-a-half hours, then add the veggies and cook for 45 minutes to one hour.
3Remove from the oven, place the shanks and vegetables on a dish and keep warm. Strain off the juices into a small saucepan and remove any visible fat, then boil for five to six minutes until it has a light sauce consistency. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley and chives.
4Place a shank of lamb in the centre of each of four large, warmed plates, surround with vegetables and coat with the sauce. Garnish with the parsley.
Variation: Creamed potatoes go very well with this, or you could include some potato chunks with the other slow-roast vegetables.