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Leave-in-the-oven Lamb Shanks

by Fay Ripley from Fay’s Family Food

These low-maintenance lamb shanks, flavoured with star anise and black pepper are perfect for busy weekends. Plus you can make this dish up to two days in advance.

From the book


This is a rich, warm stew that bubbles away in the oven for 3 hours. Which leaves you time to clean the house and your hair.

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splash of olive oil
4 lamb shanks (as lean as possible)
For the sauce:
2 large onions, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
450g organic carrots, cut into large chunks
4 garlic cloves, crushed
handful of fresh rosemary leaves
400ml low-salt vegetable stock
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 star anise
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp runny honey


Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan), 180°C, gas mark 4.

Using a large casserole dish, heat a splash of olive oil and brown the lamb shanks, in batches, all over. Then remove.

Throw your onions and celery into the dish to fry a little before adding the garlic, carrots and rosemary. Fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes or so.

Now add the stock, tomatoes, star anise and a grind or two of pepper. Bring to
the boil. Return the meat to the dish. Put the shanks in with the bones sticking
out of the liquid and trickle the honey over the exposed meat and bone.

Stick a lid on, pop it in the oven and cook for 3 hours. Serve with your favourite mash and a big bowl of minted peas. Season on your plate.

Babies and kids: This is a favourite with babies and kids alike. I just take it off the bone for them and shred the babies’ portions. It freezes really well.
Tip: You could make this up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge.


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