This dish looks very impressive served to a table. The nettles add a great twist to the mash and the lamb works really well together with the persillade.
Servings: 4 people
- Large casserole pan
- 8 Connemara Hill lamb shanks about 475g each
- 50 g plain flour
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 375 ml dry white wine
- 750 ml chicken stock
- 4 canned anchovy fillets finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
For the persillade:
- 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
- 2 canned anchovy fillets finely chopped
- Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
For the nettle mash:
- 1.2 kg floury potatoes peeled and halved or quartered if large
- 75 g butter
- 100 ml milk
- 50 tender young nettle leaves washed well and roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a really large casserole pan on a high heat. Season the lamb shanks and toss them in the flour to coat.
- Add the oil to the pan and working in batches, sear the lamb shanks all over until golden brown, transferring them to a large plate as you go.
- Next, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, celery and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 6-8 minutes until soft but not coloured, adding the garlic for the last minute. Mix in a little bit of flour to thicken the sauce. Increase the heat and then add the wine, allowing it to bubble down for a minute or two.
- Now add the tomato puree, then the rosemary and bay leaf. Then add the anchovies and season well.
- Return the lamb shanks to the pan, pour over the stock and cover with a tight fitting lid. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a very gentle simmer for about 3 hours. Turn the shanks occasionally during this time.
- Meanwhile, prepare the persillade. Simply toss the mint, lemon zest, parsley, garlic and anchovies together in a small bowl. Cover and chill until serving.
- Half an hour before serving, prepare the mash. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Warm the milk and butter in a small pan until just coming to the boil and remove.
- Drain the potatoes well and mash until smooth with the milk and butter mixture. Stir the nettles through to wilt completely and season to taste. Cover and keep warm.
- To serve, spoon a large dollop of creamy nettle mash into the centre of each serving bowl or plate. Sit a lamb shank proudly on top, spoon the sauce over and scatter generously with persillade.