Honey-Glazed Lamb Shanks

Jean-Christophe Novelli's richly flavoured braised and roasted lamb is served with thinly sliced roast potatoes and fresh mixed vegetables
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Honey-Glazed Lamb Shanks
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus resting
  • Effort: hard


For the lamb shanks

  • 4 small lamb shanks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, roughly chopped
  • 225 g celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 heads garlic, broken up
  • handful mixed thyme, bay leaves and rosemary

For the sauce

  • 3 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 6 button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh mixed herbs, finely chopped (preferably including tarragon, parsley and basil)
  • 250 ml red wine
  • ½ lemons, juice only
  • 2 tsp honey

For the Pommes Carlos

  • 4 potatoes, turned into oval shapes
  • 1 tbsp salted butter, melted

For the vegetables

  • 12baby carrots, (peeled,blanched,refreshed)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • 12baby leeks, (blanched,refreshed)
  • green beans, (blanched,refreshed)
  • knob butter

To serve

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 sprigs chervil


1. For the lamb shanks: remove excess fat from the lamb and trim the meat away to expose a length of bone. Reserve the meat trimmings.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and add to the pan along with the carrots, onions, leeks, and celery. Brown them quickly all over. While they are browning, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

3. Plunge the lamb shanks into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes - this helps the meat to retract around the bone and keep it intact during cooking.

4. Drain and transfer to a clean pan with the browned vegetables, garlic and herbs, as well as enough water to just cover the meat. Bring to the boil before lowering the heat and simmering gently for about 1½ hours, until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Remove the shanks from the stock and keep warm. Reserve the stock.

5. For the sauce: put the shallots, celery, mushrooms and half the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring, until they have softened. Add the reserved lamb trimmings and the mixed herbs, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Pour in the red wine and cook until reduced by half. Add 2 cups of the reserved lamb stock and reduce by half again. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and whisk these in, a few at a time. Season to taste and strain through a fine sieve.

6. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3.

7. Pour half of the sauce into a roasting pan and stir in the lemon juice and honey. Add the shanks and coat with this glaze. Wrap the exposed bone in foil and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm.

8. Reduce oven temperature to 140C/gas 1.

9. For the Pommes Carlos: slice the potatoes very thinly (preferably using a mandoline). Arrange on a non-stick baking sheet in 4 overlapping circles to resemble flowers (leaving a hole in the centre) and brush with melted butter. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, weight down, and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven for 30 minutes (leaving the oven on). Remove the paper and return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes. Leave on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before removing with a spatula.

10. For the vegetables: gently soften the baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, baby leeks and green beans in a little butter without browning them.

10. To serve: remove the foil from the lamb bones, place the shanks in the centre of warm plates, then drizzle the sauce over and around, but not over the bone. Arrange the cooked vegetables around the lamb, 3 pieces of each vegetable per plate. Slide a Pomme Carlos over the end of each shank bone and insert a bay leaf into the end of each bone. Garnish with 3 sprigs of chervil per plate and serve.

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