Lamb shank with soft polenta and Persian lime pesto

servings 4
2 hours

Ingredients

Lamb shanks

  • 4 lamb shanks

For the marinade

  • 120ml of yoghurt
  • 2 Persian limes, ground
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

To cook

  • 1 leek, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 fennel, finely diced
  • 300ml of red wine
  • 300ml of dark chicken stock, or veal stock
  • olive oil

For the polenta

  • 600g of chicken stock
  • 150g of polenta
  • 3 tbsp of natural yoghurt, heaped
  • 1 tbsp of preserved lemon, chopped
  • 50g of Parmesan, grated
  • salt, to taste

For the Persian lime and parsley pesto

  • 2 Persian limes, dried
  • 1 bunch of parsley, blanched and cooled
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced

To plate

  • 30g of flaked almonds, toasted
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped

Method

1
Make the marinade by combining the yoghurt, lime and rosemary. Thoroughly cover the lamb shanks with the marinade, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 12 hours, removing 1 hour before cooking
  • 120ml of yoghurt
  • 2 Persian limes, ground
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 lamb shanks
2
Preheat the oven the 150˚C/gas mark 2
3
Place a large, heavy-based, ovenproof saucepan on a high heat and add a good dash of olive oil. Add the marinated shanks to the pan to seal, cooking until dark and golden all over. Once ready, remove from the pan and set aside
  • olive oil
4
While the shanks are browning, place a separate pan on a medium heat, add a dash of olive oil and sweat the leek, carrot, shallot and fennel for 10-15 minutes, until soft but with no colour. Remove from the heat and set aside
  • 1 leek, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 fennel, finely diced
5
Deglaze the shank pan with the red wine, scraping all of the caramelised crust from the base of the pan as this will contain a lot of flavour from the marinade
  • 300ml of red wine
6
Add the dark chicken stock and cooked vegetables to the shank pan, followed by the lamb. Bring the liquid to the boil, cover with a lid and place into the oven to braise for 90-120 minutes. When the shanks are ready the meat will be soft, tender and just beginning to come away from the bone. Remove from the oven and allow the shanks to cool in the liquid
  • 300ml of dark chicken stock, or veal stock
7
When cool, remove the shanks and return the pan to the heat. Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half
8
Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste and return to a clean saucepan along with the lamb shanks, ready to re-heat later
9
To make the pesto, combine the parsley, dried limes, lime juice and garlic in a food processor and blitz to form a paste. Transfer to a dish and set aside until required
  • 2 Persian limes
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lime
10
For the polenta, bring the stock to the boil and slowly pour in the polenta, whisking continuously. Be careful as the hot polenta thickens, as it will bubble and spit
  • 600g of chicken stock
  • 150g of polenta
11
Cook for 5-10 minutes until the polenta is soft and smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in the yoghurt, preserved lemon and Parmesan and season to taste. Keep warm
  • 3 tbsp of natural yoghurt, heaped
  • 1 tbsp of preserved lemon, chopped
  • 50g of Parmesan, grated
  • salt, to taste
12
To serve, reheat the lamb shanks in the sauce at a gentle simmer. Add a good helping of soft polenta to the base of a shallow bowl or small cast iron dish. Add the hot lamb shank, the sauce, a good dollop of the pesto and sprinkling of toasted almonds and parsley
  • 30g of flaked almonds, toasted
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped