Soft, tender and juicy Lamb…sweet and sticky Port & Cherry glaze….crisp, golden and salty potatoes… I’m sure these words could be transformed into a love song. Well one that I would listen to anyway.
The Idea for this incredible meal was born when I saw Nigella making her Roast Lamb for one. She used Lamb Shanks and brushed them with a Port and Redcurrant Jelly Glaze before popping them into the oven so that the Ruby juices can do their thing on the lamb. This she served with Pea Puree (which I almost made, had it not been for the fridge full of spinach, guilting me into cooking it).
I decided to use Cherry Jam instead of the Redcurrant jelly, as my fellow-foodie cousin, always talks about how he cooks Lamb Shanks with cherries. I usually just pop Lamb shanks in the oven with some salt, pepper and lemon juice but the idea of the gorgeous pink flesh and the sweet glaze won me over. The Lamb I used is a different cut of Shank than I’m used to. My butcher sells these “Lamb Shank Roasts” which, for me, isn’t as charming as the proper Lamb Shank I know but still has the same flavour. Just a different shape.
With this, I served crisp & golden Roast Potatoes (perfectly fluffy inside) and a Spinach bake. The inspiration for the Spinach bake came from “Vrouekeur: Vinnig & Maklik 2”, in which Marlo Carstens combines Spinach with garlic & onions and tops them off with a white sauce and cheese. I only saw the idea once so didn’t have the recipe and just followed my own nose. I also added some steamed broccoli and I simplified it a bit by not making a proper white sauce. It came out incredibly delicious. Spinach by itself is always a winner but paired with the creamy sauce and the salty cheese, this was the perfect accompaniment to the sweet lamb. I unfortunately didn’t get a photo of the Spinach bake but we all know what spinach, broccoli & white sauce looks like!
This definitely is a meal worth making and it would be a massive hit at any dinner party.
4 Lamb Shanks / Lamb Shank Roasts
250g (8.82 ounces) Black Cherry/Morello Cherry Jam
200ml (6.76 fluid ounces) Port (I used Allesverloren)
Salt to taste
In a saucepan, combine the jam, port and sugar and allow to simmer until thick and syrupy. Season the Lamb Shanks with salt and and pour half of the glaze over. Cover with foil and place in a 160°C (320 degrees Fahrenheit) oven for 2 hours. After the 2 hours, Remove the tin foil and turn the heat up to 200°C (392 degrees Fahrenheit). Pour the rest of the glaze over and allow to roast for another hour.
4 Large potatoes, Peeled and chopped into large chunks
3tbsn Olive Oil
Combine all the ingredients and place the potatoes on a roasting tray. Roast with the Lamb shanks for 1 1/2 hours. (I put them in just before I turn the heat up)
For the Spinach & Broccoli Bake
800g (28.22 ounces) Baby Spinach
2 Large Onions, Finely Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, Finely sliced
150g (5.29 ounces) Broccoli, Steamed
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 packet Cream of Mushroom soup powder
100ml (3.38 fluid ounces) Cream
200ml (6.76 fluid ounces) Milk
100g (3.53 ounces) Grated Pecorino/Parmesan
In a large pan (I use my wok), fry the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the spinach bit by bit and allow to wilt. Season with salt, pepper & Nutmeg. Add the broccoli and place into a suitable casserole dish. Combine the soup powder, milk & Cream and pour over the spinach mixture. Top with the grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 200°C (392 degrees Fahrenheit).Alida Ryder