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Lamb Shank with Garlic, Rosemary and Flageolet Beans


  • For the lamb shanks

  • 4 lamb shanks

  • 6 tinned anchovies, cut into halves

  • 12 small rosemary sprigs

  • 12 slivers garlic

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 55g/2oz duck fat, butter or dripping

  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped

  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped

  • 1 leek, roughly chopped

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped

  • 1 head garlic, broken up into cloves

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½ bottle red wine

  • 600ml/1 pint chicken or lamb stock or water

  • For the Sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 115g/4oz streaky bacon lardons, blanched

  • 1 carrot, finely diced

  • 1 stick celery, finely diced

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped

  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced

  • 2 x 375g/13oz tins flageolet beans, drained and rinsed

  • For the Gremolata

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 lemons, grated zest only

  • To Serve

  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.

  • 2.

    For the lamb shanks, first remove the majority of fat from the shanks. Make three deep incisions in each shank and insert in each half an anchovy wrapped around a sprig of rosemary and a slice of garlic. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper - you will not need too much salt as the anchovies are very salty.

  • 3.

    Heat a little duck fat, butter or dripping in a casserole, add the shanks and brown all over. Remove and set aside.

  • 4.

    To the casserole, add the carrots, celery, leek, onions, garlic cloves and herbs and cook over a high heat until the vegetables are browned.

  • 5.

    Deglaze the casserole by adding the red wine, scraping the residue on the bottom of the pan and stirring well.

  • 6.

    Add the stock or water to the casserole, place the shanks on top of the vegetables, cover and cook in the oven for two and a half hours.

  • 7.

    When the lamb has finished cooking, remove the four shanks to a dish and keep warm. Pass the vegetables and cooking liquor through a mouli, or blend in a food processor, and set to one side.

  • 8.

    For the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat. Add the bacon and fry until browned. Reduce the heat and add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic.

  • 9.

    Cook for eight minutes until the vegetables have softened then add the thyme, rosemary, tomatoes and flageolet beans. Heat through.

  • 10.

    Pass the blended lamb cooking liquor and vegetables through a strainer or fine sieve onto the bean mixture, stir together and pour over the lamb shanks.Mix the gremolata ingredients together to make the gremolata.

  • 11.

    Serve the lamb garnished with the gremolata and parmesan.

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