Phil Vickery's seasonal lamb shanks
'Tis the season to all get together and throw a dinner party!
Phil is here with his sharing feast for all to tuck in and enjoy - lamb shanks cooked with Christmas fruits and spices, served with mash.
Spiced winter lamb shanks
4 large shanks of British lamb
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 heaped tsp crushed black peppercorns
2 heaped tsp crushed whole coriander seeds
1 level tsp ground mace
1 level tsp ground freshly nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp crushed green cardamoms
4 medium onions sliced finely
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp tomato puree
500ml fresh orange juice
2 pints 1 litre roughly strong boiling chicken or lamb stock
120g dried apricots chopped roughly
150g ‘ready to eat’ dried prunes, de stoned and chopped roughly
200g vacuum packed chestnuts, halved
100g pine nuts
Sugar to taste
8 tbsp chopped, fresh coriander, stalks and all
8 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, stalks and all
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas 4.
2. Mix all the spices together in a large bowl. Add the meat and coat well in the spices.
3. Cover and leave for 2 hours, best left overnight in the fridge.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep ovenproof saucepan and brown the lamb on all sides, do not burn the spices.
5. Remove from the saucepan then add a little more vegetable oil to a frying pan and the onions and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly. Add the flour and tomato paste to the onions and garlic and mix well. Add the orange juice, and 300mls of strong stock. Bring together then add the shanks.
6. Bring to a simmer then add enough stock to just cover the meat. Remember the lamb will release quite a lot of moisture. Add the dried fruits, chestnuts and pine nuts and mix well, then add a little sugar, salt and fresh coriander.
7. Bring to a simmer, but not boiling on the stove top stirring all the time, cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the pre heated oven.
8. Cook for 1½ hours or until the meat is soft and tender but not overcooked or falling off the bone.
9. Serve in deep bowls with mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh spinach leaves.