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Braised shank of Herdwick lamb, with Root vegetables, red onion jam and greens.


Prep time – 2 hours

Cook Time - 1 – 2 hours


Herdwick are a native breed of sheep coming from the Lake District. Bred for the dual purpose of wool and meat they have coarse grey fleeces which make warm, thick floor rugs.


Herdwick lamb was served at Queen Elizabeth’s II coronation banquet in 1953. The meat has great flavour and is also superb as mutton hence it lends itself to this dish of slow cooked shank. Herdwick lamb is available to buy from various farms especially in Cumbria and some will supply by mail order.


Lamb shank is the potion of meat cut from the leg of the animal below the knee. They need slow cooking and are generally braised whole and left on the bone. The marrow in the bone melts into the resulting sauce adding depth and flavour. There are small differences between shanks that come from the front legs and those from the hind legs but either will suffice.


This is winter comfort food at its it best. Hearty lamb, chunky seasonal vegetables, a rich sauce and everyone’s favourite - mashed potato. The lamb itself can be cooked either in the oven or, if you have one, in a slow cooker. Of course, if you can’t get hold of Herdwick Lamb any lamb shank will suit.



For the Lamb shank

  • 4 Individual lamb shanks
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh thyme and rosemary (Plus any stalks you have left over from other herbs in the kitchen such as parsley)
  • 2 Single Bay leaves
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Single Carrot
  • 1 Single Onion
  • 15 g Tomato puree
  • 20 g Plain flour
  • 10 ml Rapeseed oil
  • 200 ml Red wine
  • 800 ml Good stock (Chicken or beef)
  • Seasoning


For the roots

  • 3 Large Carrots
  • 2 large Beetroot


For the greens

  • 700g Peeled white potatoes. (see note)
  • 300g Any in season greens such as spinach or kale.
  • 50g Butter
  • 50ml Milk
  • Seasoning


For the sauce

  • 100g Sliced red onions
  • 100g Red currant jelly
  • 10 ml Rapeseed oil



The Lamb Shank 

  • Heat the oven to 175oC
  • Wash, peel and cut all the vegetables into large pieces. This is so they don’t turn to mush during cooking as they have a later use. (see note)
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the lamb shanks one at a time until they are brown all over. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the lamb shanks in a casserole dish that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the herbs.
  • Fry the vegetables in the same pan and add to the pot. Add the plain flour and the tomato paste.
  • Pour a little of the stock in the frying pan and bring to the boil scraping any caramelised bits off the bottom. Pour over the shanks and cover with the remining stock and the wine.
  • Place in the oven with the lid on and cook for 1 – 2 hours until the meat starts to fall off the bone.


Note – The braising vegetables can be either eaten as they are or cooled down and fried the next day as a bubble and squeak.


For The Roots

  • Peel the carrots but leave them whole and wash the beetroot.

(Chefs tip - Root vegetables are often best cooked whole and then cut as the chef can achieve a greater degree of accuracy.)

  • Boil the carrots until they are nearly cooked (they will slightly bend without breaking). Boil the beetroot until you can insert a skewer easily through the middle.
  • Cool the vegetables, peel the beetroot and then cut them into any desired shape. The trimmings can be kept and used for soup.


For The Greens

  • Boil the potatoes until cooked, drain and allow to dry but keep warm

Chefs Tip – Potatoes make much better ‘fluffy’ mash if they are allowed to dry slightly otherwise, they can turn into a starchy puree.

  • Blanch the greens lightly making sure they keep their colour and blend into a puree.
  • Mash the potatoes, season and add the milk and the butter.
  • Stir in the green puree.


Note - Always use a good mashing variety of potatoes high in starch such as a Yukon Gold or Russet.


For The Sauce

  • Fry the onions in the oil until golden brown and add the red current jelly.

To assemble and serve

  • Remove the lamb shanks from the casserole dish. Be careful if the meat is well cooked as it may start fall off the bone. Keep warm.
  • Strain the stock into a saucepan, boil and reduce until thick and glossy. Add the red onions.
  • Heat the green mashed potato and the vegetables.
  • Place 150g of the mash in the centre of the plate. Position one lamb shank per person in the middle of the mash and arrange the vegetables around the outside.
  • Finely dress the lamb with the hot sauce.

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