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Issue 2 - Braised Red Wine Lamb Shanks with Dumplings
Braised red wine lamb shanks with dumplings

Serves 4

Preparation 20-25 minutes & marinating time

Cooking time 3-4 hours

By Neil McCready - Vanilla Dining Room


In a large food container mix all the ingredients for the lamb together, cover and chill preferably overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl rub the suet, flour, salt and pepper together, begin to add the water a splash at a time, thoroughly mixing until you have a firm but pliable dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean. With wet hands roll the dough into 10-12 golf ball size balls, cover and refrigerate until needed.

After either 6 hours or the day after pre heat your oven to gas 3/170 degrees, remove the shanks from the marinade (reserving all the marinade because this will become your cooking liquor) to a clean tea towel and dry thoroughly. In a large frying pan heat some vegetable oil or lard until hot but not smoking, and brown the shanks all over and transfer to a deep, wide saucepan or earthen ware dish big enough to hold all the liquor and fit in your oven (or do it in 2 smaller ones). Now pour the marinade into the pan back over the lamb shanks cover with a lid or foil and transfer to the pre heated oven and cook for 3 - 3 and a half hours.

After this time remove the cooking dish back to the hob and carefully remove the lamb shanks to a plate or dish to rest up. Using the hob bring the cooking juices left in the pan to a simmer and add the dumplings and cook for 30 minutes, the dumplings should be floating, remove the dumplings and add the lanb shanks and the dumplings back to the liquor and either keep warm until required or refrigerate for up to 4 days in which case the flavours will mature a little. Serve with either green vegetables or crusty bread or even some mash potato, enjoy.

N.B this will freeze very well portioned in freezer food bags and either boiled in the bag for about 25 minutes or reheated in the microwave for about 10-15 minutes.


For the Lamb:
7-8oz lanb shanks
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, cleaned and roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, as they are with the skin intact
half a white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
Sprig of rosemary
Sprig of thyme
3 or 4 sage leaves
1 litre best you can get red wine (in the restaurant we use Cote de Rhone)
half a litre water with 2 lamb stock cubes dissolved, allow to cool before adding to lamb

For the Dumplings:
50g grated suet
100g plain flour
A good pinch of salt
half a pint of cold water (you may not need it all)

To Finish:
Lard or vegetable oil
Grfavy granules, about 150g, you may not need them all

Neil McCready.

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