Lamb shank hotpot
Q Serves 4 Q Prep 20-25 mins mins Q Cook 31/ 2 hrs
vegetable oil, for cooking 4 lamb shanks (about 200g each), French trimmed (you can ask your butcher to do this for you) 6 small onions, halved 1 garlic bulb (about 8-12 cloves),
peeled and sliced 1 large swede, peeled and diced 150g goat’s cheese, crumbled 2 tsp thyme leaves 500ml lamb stock 4 large turnips (about 200g each),
peeled and thinly sliced 50g butter, chopped
Heat a good splash of vegetable oil in a large flameproof casserole over a mediumhigh heat. Season the lamb shanks with a little salt, then fry them, 2 at a time, until deeply and evenly coloured. Don’t hurry this process – searing the meat properly will help to create that deep, delicious flavour. Drain off the rendered fat, then set the lamb shanks aside.
Turn the heat down a bit, then add a splash more vegetable oil to the casserole. Tip in the onions and garlic along with a pinch of salt, then cook gently for about 10–12 mins until golden and softened. Remove from the heat and return the lamb shanks to the pan, placing them on top of the onions with the bones pointing upwards.
Preheat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. In a bowl, combine the swede, cheese, thyme and some cracked black pepper, then pack it around the lamb shanks. Pour in the stock, fan the slices of turnip in a circle over the swede and around the lamb shanks, and dot with the butter.
Cover the hot pot with a lid or, if that’s not possible because the shank bones are poking up too highly, cover the casserole with foil and seal tightly. Cook in the oven for 1½ hrs, then remove the lid or foil and return to the oven for a further 1½ hrs until the lamb is soft, covering with foil if it seems to be browing too quickly. The turnips should be crispy on the top.
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