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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Recipe: Gently Pulled Lamb Shank w/ Flageolet Bean Mash, Blushed Tomatoes & Redcurrant & Port Reduction


This dish is simple bit of relatively hands off cooking, background cooking! (That said, one pot cooking it aint!)

Braised lamb shank gently pulled off the bone after cooking for 3 hours in chicken stock w/ onion. The lamb is removed from the braising pot and the liquor and and onions separated. The liquor is then reduced with a little redcurrant jelly and port to make a rich sauce, and the onions added to the beans to make a tasty flageolet bean mash. Topped with blushed tomatoes and served with your favourite veggies. (In this case tender stem broccoli!)
QFYI: fagioli is Italian for bean, frijoles in Spanish!

ingredients (serves 2-3)
for the blushed tomatoes (tray full)
300g baby plum tomatoes (halved, and pips removed - if you like!)
50ml olive oil 
1/2 tsp salt flakes

for the lamb shanks
2 lamb shanks 
2 large onions (peeled & cut into eighths)
1L chicken stock
3 cloves garlic (crushed)

for the flageolet bean mash
530g flageolet bean (2 tins)
2 slices smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1 carrot (diced)
1 red onion (diced)
100g butter (small cubes)
onion & garlic (from the lamb)
2 spring onion (fine dice - optional)
350ml veg / chicken stock

for the redcurrant & port sauce
100ml tawny port or madeira (if you’re feeling flush!)
100ml red wine 
100g redcurrant jelly
liquor from the lamb (strained)
50g butter (cubed)
red wine vinegar (to taste)

for the tender stem broccoli 
400g tender stem brocoli
1/2 lemon juice
20ml extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes

for the garnish
12 blushed tomato halves 

apparatus / equipment
2 boiling pots
steamer or steam tray / basket (for broccoli)
stick blender (helpful, optional)
flat / drum sieve (optional)


blushed tomatoes
Halve the baby plum tomatoes and toss them in the oil and salt. Spread them out onto a baking sheet and bake at 80C for 5hrs.
(If you put them into a sterilised jar and cover them with oil they’ll keep for a couple of months no problem.)


lamb shanks
Season the shanks and sear them in the bottom of the pot to brown them off a little.
Place all the ingredients into the pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Simmer for 3hrs, stirring occasionally and topping up the liquid with water, (just enough to keep the meat covered throughout.)
Remove the shanks and pull the meat off with a spoon taking care to keep the meat relatively intact. Put to one side to keep warm. (or you can add them back into the sauce when it’s ready)
Sieve the remains keeping the liquor for the sauce & the onions and garlic for the mash.


flageolet bean mash
Put the bacon into a boiling pot and fry with a little oil until it’s browned. Add the onion and carrot and continue to cook until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken stock and all the contents of one tin of beans, drain the other tin and add only the beans. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone. Towards the end stir constantly with a sturdy flat tipped spatula so the mix doesn’t catch. 

Mash it or blitz it with a stick blender then pass it through a sieve if you want a really smooth mash. Blitz the garlic and onion and spring onion and mix the paste, and the butter into the mash.

redcurrant & port sauce
Reduce the port and wine by half, then add the redcurrant jelly and dissolve it into the reduction.
Add the liquor from the lamb and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, add a little red wine vinegar if it needs it to lift the flavour. (Not forgetting that the butter with dull the vinegar)
Add the cubed butter just before its to be served mixing it in well to give the sauce a nice glossy finish.

tender stem broccoli 
Steam for 5 mins then toss with lemon, extra virgin olive oil and season with a little flaked sea salt.
Also quite nice if you pop it onto a griddle!! 

to serve
Spoon a healthy portion of broccoli and mash onto the plate, top the mash with lamb and blushed tomatoes and serve with a jug of sauce!!! Or just pour it all over  . . .  so good!

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