Savoury lamb cupcakes

Bob Blumer's pretty pink cakes are made with braised lamb and are decorated with beetroot and potato 'icing' don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em!
By Bob Blumer
Savoury lamb cupcakes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the lamb cakes

  • 3 lamb shanks
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 230 ml dry red wine
  • 450 ml chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 small handfuls parsley, chopped

For the 'icing'

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 1 tbsp juice of roasted beetroot
  • 230 ml double cream, at room temperature
  • 200 g butter, at room temperature

Method

1. For the lamb cakes: preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Season the lamb shanks with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and dust with flour.

2. In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the lamb shanks and brown all 4 sides for about 2 minutes each side. Remove the shanks from the pan and set aside.

3. Heat another tablespoon of oil in a separate sauté pan, over a medium-high heat, and lightly fry half of the onion, and all of the carrots and celery for about 6 minutes (or until they just begin to brown). While the vegetables are frying, heat the stock.

4. Pour the chicken stock into the pan in which you browned the lamb, stir up the brown bits off the base of the pan with a wooden spoon and bring the stock to the boil. Transfer the lamb shanks to a roasting tin and pour the wine, hot stock and vegetables on top.

5. Scatter the herbs over the top and and tightly cover with tin foil. Braise the shanks in the oven for 3½ hours; then remove the foil and continue cooking for 30 more minutes - at this point lamb should be tender and falling off the bone.

7. When the meat is cooked, pick the meat from the bones and set it aside. Strain the juices into a clean pan, discarding the vegetables and bones. Bubble the juices over a medium heat to reduce to a thick sauce.

9. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the rest of the onion and the chopped garlic and fry until deep brown in colour.

10. Tip the fried onions and garlic into a mixing bowl, add the meat, sauce, breadcrumbs, egg and parsley. Mix well.

11. Transfer the mixture into a 12-hole cup cake tin and bake for 12 minutes.

12. For the 'icing': boil the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain, before tipping the potatoes back into the pan. Shake the pan over a gentle heat to get rid of any remaining water. With a potato masher or ricer, mash the potatoes, adding the cream and butter to smoothen.

13. Stir through the roasted beetroot juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the 'icing' into a piping bag. Use the 'icing' to decorate the lamb cakes and serve.

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