main courses | serves 4
This is a killer dinner! Rehydrating dried chillies in apple juice with raisins releases their heat and infuses them with a sticky sweetness that goes insanely well with lamb.
• 2–3 smoked ancho chillies
• Large handful of raisins
• 285ml apple juice
• 4 lamb shanks
• Olive oil
• 3 medium red onions, finely chopped
• 8 garlic cloves, finely sliced
• 2–3 fresh red chillies of your choice, halved and deseeded
• 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
• A few fresh bay leaves
3–4 rosemary sprigs
• 1 x 400g tin tomatoes
750ml chicken stock or water
• A dash of red wine vinegar
• Sliced red chillies and sliced garlic (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to full whack. Put the dried chillies, raisins and apple juice in a bowl then set aside. Put the lamb shanks in a roasting tray then rub all over with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Bang them in the oven for 20 minutes and, as they’re browning, get a casserole pan that will fit the shanks quite snugly – about 24cm in diameter and 10cm deep. Put it on a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Devote about 10 minutes to sweating off the onions, garlic, fresh chilli, smoked paprika, bay leaves and rosemary.
2. Once the onions have softened, put the rehydrated chillies and raisins into a food processor or liquidiser, along with any leftover apple juice, then blitz (feel free to sneak in a swig of red wine or bourbon here!) until you’ve got a paste. Stir this into your onions.
3. Take your shanks out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 140C/gas 1–1½. Add them to the casserole pan along with your tinned tomatoes and water or stock. Stir everything together, cover and put in the oven to stew for about 2½–3 hours. Top up with water or stock as you go. Once the meat is falling off the bone and the sauce is thick, take it out of the oven, have a taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of vinegar. To give it a kick up the backside I like to finely chop up a garlic clove and a little fresh chilli then mash them with a pinch of salt and stir it through for an extra punch. Serve with steamed greens, mash, flatbread – whatever you fancy.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver, Photography by David Loftus
• from Jamie Magazine issue 7
e.m.a.s.: Wow, it's so relishing delicious food!!! I should try to cook someday... Yummy.............. ^..^