Simply spectacular, this is a superb alternative to a Sunday roast…
IngredientsFor the sauce…
- Start by grinding the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, then mixing with some fresh ground pepper and some salt. Then pat this mix onto each shank, dust with a little flour and fry gently, ideally in the hob-enabled casserole dish. While the meat is browning turn the oven on to 150 degrees C
- Slice up the leeks, onions, garlic and celery and roughly chop the unpeeled carrot into 2 inch chunks. When the meat is browned on all sides, remove it from the dish and use it to gently fry the veg and the chopped herbs for 5 minutes
- Add the wine and the stock and bring to the boil, simmer for a minute or two and arrange the shanks on top of the mix before transferring to the oven
- Bake these for around 3 hours, coming back once an hour to carefully turn the shanks so as to ensure all sides are submerged in the liquor for at least some of the cooking time.
- When ready, remove from the oven, wrap each shank in foil and pop them back in – MAKE SURE YOU TURN THE OVEN OFF!!!! Pick out the carrots, wrap them in foil and put them in the oven to keep warm as well.
- Strain the liquid from the pot into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the star anise, a generous slug of port and simmer until reduced by about half
- Blitz 90% of the blackberries and strain through a sieve into the sauce (to avoid seeds in the sauce)
- When reduced, transfer this sauce to a jug, then make a small amount of roux (10-15g each of butter and flour) in the bottom of the pan. Cook out the flour for a moment, then slowly add the sauce and keep stirring until it’s the consistency of a thin-ish gravy. Add a small knob of butter at the end to make it nice and shiny and add the last few berries just to warm them before serving.
- Add a dollop of mash to a bowl, place some carrots around the edge, balance a shank on top and garnish with a blackberry or two fished out from the sauce. Pour the sauce over the lamb and serve garnished with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley to make it look even better!