Added by tonemid | Tue 14 Jul 2009 @ 16:54
This is just THE best way to prepare lamb shanks. It is quite zingy and spicy, and so it is quite important to accompany it with mild flavours - hence the creamy mashed potatoes.
4 lamb shanks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 dried chillies, crumbled
40 ml balsamic vinegar
200 ml unoaked red wine
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
400 g kale or cavolo nero, coarsely chopped, and with water from rinsing still clinging to it
Big knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Potato mash (one which is a bit on the creamy side), and which has had quite a lot of finely chopped flatleaf parsley added to it.
Rub the lamb shanks with fennel seeds and dried chilli, and season with salt and pepper.. Place in a baking dish. Pour in vinegar and wine, and cover tightly with foil. Cook in a 150 C oven for two hours, or until tender. Remove the foil, turn the heat up to 180 C, and cook until the shanks have browned on the outside.
Remove the lamb from the oven dish. For the sauce, there are two options: Either pour the wine/vinegar mixture into a bowl and let it sit for a little while in order to allow the lamb fat rise to the top (whilst keeping the meat warm), and then use a gigantic pipette to retrieve the lovely jus beneath the fat. Or place the mixture in the fridge overnight to allow the fat to solidify, so that it can easily be removed. In which case the meat should also be refrigerated, and reheated in a moderate oven just before serving. Either way, bring the wine/vinegar/jus up to the boil, reduce a bit, and, if necessary, season to taste (it will likely not need any seasoning).
Gently fry garlic and anchovies in olive oil until the garlic is soft. Add the kale/cavolo nero, and cook, whilst stirring now and then, until cooked through. Stir in butter, and season to taste.
Pour the jus/sauce onto four warmed plates. Put a generous amount of mash on each plate, and place lamb shanks next to it. Place the kale/cavolo nero next to the lamb shanks.