“Cook the lamb shanks until they’re just falling apart and they develop the most amazing flavours. Whatever you do, do NOT skip the mint oil or spring onions – it’s like switching on a light, and just that simple little touch makes the whole dish sing. ”
Peel and finely chop the onions, then place in a really large casserole pan (roughly 26cm in diameter, 12cm deep), with a lug of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Cook over a medium-high heat, until the onions start to caramelise, stirring as you go.
Add the raisins and marmalade, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and booze. Give it all a good stir, then leave to gently simmer over a medium-low heat.
Put the lamb shanks into a large frying pan (30cm wide) on a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil – cook them in batches, if needed, turning regularly.
Once the lamb has some good colour, pick in the rosemary leaves and move them around in the pan to get crispy, but don’t let them burn.
Using tongs, move the shanks into the pan of onions, then pour in all their juices and the crispy rosemary.
Add the stock, put the lid on, turn the heat down to low and leave to slowly blip away for 3 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone easily, turing halfway for even cooking.
Once cooked, carefully move the shanks to a platter, making sure the meat stays intact.
Whiz or liquidize the gravy with a stick blender until smooth, then allow to thicken and reduce on the hob.
Quickly bash most of the mint leaves in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt and the olive or rapeseed oil, then take to the table.
Trim and finely slice the spring onions and toss on a plate with the remaining fresh mint leaves, a drizzle of cider vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Add a little splash of cider vinegar and a few more splashes of Worcestershire sauce to the sauce, then ladle it all over the lamb shanks, pouring the rest into a jug for people to help themselves.
Scatter the vinegary spring onions and a few fresh mint leaves all over the top, and drizzle the mint oil all around the shanks. Delicious served with potato and celeriac mash – the plate will be clean before you know it.
The sauce here makes enough for ten lamb shanks, so if you want to make this recipe serve more people, just plop a few more shanks into the pan and top up with a little more stock.