Lamb shank hot­pot

Easy Cook - - WEEKEND TOM KERRIDGE -

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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