This dish works just as well with veal shanks.
Recipe by Simon Wright, The French Cafe, Auckland, NZ
Season the lamb shanks well with salt, pepper and half the thyme.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan and brown the shanks well on all sides.
Heat a little olive oil in a casserole dish and sauté the carrot, celery and onion with the garlic and remaining thyme until slightly caramelised.
Add the shanks and Madeira to the casserole and reduce to a syrup.
Add enough stock to almost cover the shanks, place a lid on the casserole and braise in a 180c oven for 4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
When cooked, remove the shanks from the stock and allow to cool slightly.
Remove the meat from the bones and place aside.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve and reduce half the stock over a high heat to a glace.
Add the glace to the lamb meat and mix well.
Stretch a piece of glad wrap tightly across the bench.
Lay the slices of Parma ham down lengthways, slightly overlapping.
Place the lamb in the middle, using the glad wrap, carefully roll the ham over to a cylindrical shape.
Place the roll on a sheet of aluminium foil and roll up tightly, twisting the ends to make it compact.
Refrigerate to set.
Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth dough.
Roll the dough into a sausage shape, about 2cm in diameter and cut across at 1cm intervals.
Plunge the gnocchi into boiling water until they float to the surface.
Remove straight away and refresh in iced water.
Drain and toss in a little olive oil.
Sweat the artichokes, garlic and onion in 50g butter for a few minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the artichokes are soft.
Blend the sauce and pass through a fine sieve.
To assemble and serve:
Remove the foil from the lamb and cut into 4 even portions.
Remove the glad wrap and place the lamb and remaining strained stock into a pan.
Place in a 200c oven for 10 minutes, basting regularly.
Sauté the gnocchi with 200g blanched and refreshed broad beans in olive oil, just to warm through.
Bring the artichoke sauce to the boil, add the cream and whisk in the remaining butter to create a froth.
Sauté enough spinach for 4 people.
Place the spinach in the centre of each of 4 plates.
Spoon the gnocchi and beans around the outside and place the lamb on the spinach.
Spoon the artichoke sauce over the gnocchi and the lamb stock over the lamb.
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