Lamb shanks with spring vegetables

Thomasina Miers light salad of peas, broad beans, fennel and new potatoes makes a great foil for luxurious lamb shanks
By Thomasina Miers
Lamb shanks with spring vegetables
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2-3 pinches ground allspice
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 small handfuls stalks parsley
  • 1/2 bottles dry white wine

For the dressing

  • 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard

For the spring vegetables

  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 200 g peas
  • 300 g broad beans, with pods
  • 400 g new potatoes
  • 2 bulbs fennel, outside layer removed, finely sliced
  • 2 bunches watercress, large stalks removed
  • 1 large handfuls mint leaves, finely sliced

Method

1. Season the shanks well with allspice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole pan and brown the shanks on all sides - you may need to do this in batches. Set the shanks aside while you fry the vegetables.

2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if required and add the carrots, onion and celery. Fry until browned all over. Return the shanks to the pan, along with the thyme, parsley stalks, dry white wine and enough water to cover by about 2.5 cm.

3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Carefully remove the lamb from the casserole and set aside. Strain the liquid, retaining it for sauce.

4. While the lamb is braising, make the dressing. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, along with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. For the spring vegetables, pour half of the dressing over the red onions in a shallow non-reactive bowl and leave them to macerate.

6. Simmer the peas in a saucepan of boiling, salted water until tender, drain and then refresh by transferring to a bowl of iced cold water. Drain well. Repeat with the broad beans until tender (the timing will vary according to their size) and then refresh and drain as with the peas. Gently slip each broad bean from its outer skin to reveal the bright green, tender, inner bean.

7. While you are shelling the broad beans, boil the new potatoes in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and slice the potatoes to the width of 2 x £1 coins. Add the potatoes to the red onions and toss together.

8. Add the fennel, watercress and mint leaves to the potatoes, broad beans and peas.

9. To serve, divide the salad between 4 plates and top with the melting lamb and the sauce.

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