Lamb shanks braised in Pineau and fennel

Lamb shanks braised in Pineau and fennel

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
375ml full-bodied red wine
375ml pineau, (if not available, use medium sweet white wine)
2 garlic cloves
2 red onions
3 bay leaves
4 lamb shanks
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
750ml Brown chicken and veal stock
bunch flat-leaf parsley
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pour the red wine and Pineau into a non-metallic bowl. Peel and bash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a large knife, leaving the cloves whole. Halve, peel and slice the onions. Add the garlic, onions and bay leaves to the bowl with the lamb shanks, turn to coat and set aside for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight in the fridge.
  2. Heat the oven to 150°C.
  3. Remove the lamb shanks from the wine. Pat dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and brown the lamb shanks all over, then transfer them to a casserole.
  4. Drain the onions and garlic, reserving the wine and bay leaves as well. Add the onions and garlic to the frying pan and cook over a medium heat until golden brown. Add the flour and tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Add the reserved wine and bay leaves and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift any sediment.
  5. Tip the onions and wine over the shanks in the casserole, then add the fennel seeds and stock. Cover and cook in the oven for 3–4 hours, or until the meat is completely tender and coming away from the bone, checking from time to time to ensure it is gently simmering, not boiling vigorously.
  6. Once cooked, carefully remove the lamb shanks from the sauce and keep warm. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Skim any fat from the sauce and reduce by boiling if the flavour needs to be concentrated. Taste and season.
  7. Pour the sauce over the shanks. Roughly chop enough parsley leaves to give you about 3 tablespoons and sprinkle some over each shank. Delicious served with a root vegetable mash or red cabbage.

Variations

  • Lamb shanks braised in red wine: Omit the fennel seeds and use yellow onions in place of red. Omit the Pineau, marinating the shanks as above with just the red wine and aromatics. Braise the shanks in the red wine and 400 ml brown chicken and veal stock, adding a few thyme and marjoram sprigs, 1 star anise and a pared strip of orange zest to the casserole. Serve with soft polenta and buttered kale.

    Lamb shanks braised in ale with leek and mustard mash: Omit the fennel seeds and tomato purée and use yellow onions in place of red. Omit the Pineau, red wine and marinating stage. Braise the shanks in a mixture of 500 ml ale and 250 ml brown chicken and veal stock, adding a small handful of thyme sprigs to the casserole. Serve with leek and wholegrain mustard mash; to the basic mashed potato recipe, add 1 medium leek, thinly sliced and sweated in 30 g butter until very soft and 1–2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard to taste.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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