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.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lamb
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.