Sunday, 9 November 2014

Vietnamese Lamb Shank with Sweet Potatoes

I don't get to eat lamb shanks very often so the recipe has to be special. This seemed like a really lovely recipe but actually it was a bit disappointing. I had to use beef stock and it was a little bit too strong it overpowered the Vietnanese flavours. The meat however, was really lovely and tender it melted in the mouth. I served it with a lovely pickled mooli or carrot salad.

Vietnamese Lamb Shank with Sweet Potatoes (from Good Food Magazine December 2009)
(Serves 4)
2 tbsp groundnut oil
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, halved and cut into half moons
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 red chillies, both deseeded, one chopped and one thinly sliced
1 tbsp soft brown sugar, plus 1 tsp
3 star anise
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, then bruised
1.2l lamb stock
1½ tbsp tomato purée
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
2 tbsp fish sauce
juice 2 limes
big handful mint leaves, torn
handful basil leaves
Heat oven to 160C. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole, season the shanks, then brown them 2 at a time on all sides, adding the remaining oil for the second batch. Remove the lamb and add the onions. Fry them quite briskly, about 30 secs, add the ginger, garlic and chopped chilli, then turn the heat down and cook for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp sugar, stir, then add the star anise, lemongrass, stock, purée and seasoning. Bring to the boil.

Cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hours, then add the sweet potatoes and cook for 1 hour more. The lamb should be completely tender and almost falling off the bones. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and 1 tsp sugar, then scatter with the mint, basil and the sliced chilli to serve

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