Rioja Lamb Shank with Mint Oil



Rioja lamb shank and mint oil 2

You barely need a fork for this one as it will fall willingly, obligingly and delicately off the bone and into your welcome mouths! The better the meat the nicer it will taste but any meat bought on the bone will guarantee you with added tenderness and benefit from slow cooking. The rich punchy red wine sauce craves and benefits from the fresh cleansing addition of a nice homemade mint oil.

Serves 2 generously

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 2-3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stick celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Bunch thyme, chopped
  • Bunch rosemary, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 anchovies in oil
  • 350ml red wine (Rioja is optional)
  • Bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • Olive oil
  • (1 tbsp) white wine vinegar or to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish or pan.Season your lamb shanks with salt and freshly ground pepper and brown on all sides for about 10minutes until caramelised and coloured. Reserve to a plate.
  3. Slowly sweat your chopped onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf with some seasoning for about 15 minutes in the same pan, using the lamb juices. You want to get lots of caramelisation on the vegetables after about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped thyme, rosemary the bay leaf and the sliced garlic and continue to cook for about 5-10minutes more. Turn up the heat and add the chopped anchoives. Cook until melted into the mixture.
  5. Now add the wine and bubble away to de-glaze the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes before adding the reserved lamb shanks. Add as much boiling water or stock to come ¾ way up the sides of the lamb so it is sufficiently submerged
  6. Cover with a lid and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours, basting the lamb with the sauce occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile make the mint oil. In a food processor or pestle and mortar, crush the mint leaves with a pinch of salt and sugar. Slowly add a splash of white wine vinegar to taste and enough oil to loosen.
  8. After 3 hours, turn the heat to 180°C and remove the lid. You want to brown the top of the lamb and reduce the sauce a little for about 30 minutes but it will be ready whenever from this point. You can also thicken the sauce on the hob with a small knob of butter to add a shine to the sauce.
  9. Serve with creamy mash or polenta and the mint oil drizzled over the top!