October recipe is Slow Roast Lamb Shank - come along on Sunday to get the ingredients
As the nights draw in, get warm and cosy with this sticky, comfort food classic.
Mike Belcher's family has been farming at March House Farm, Great Dalby in Leicestershire for three generations. He and his wife Heather rear beef, pork and lamb in small, hedge lined, fields that support a diversity of wildlife as well as providing a traditional environment for their animals. “Selling direct to customers at gives us greater freedom and control over how we rear our animals and the quality of the final product” Explains Mike “The welfare of our stock is important to us, so we use a small, local abattoir, to avoid having to transport them over long distances.”
“Our sheep flock consists of Masham ewes crossed with Suffolk rams, producing prime quality lamb. All our sheep are born and raised on the farm and are grazed on permanent pasture throughout the year. We don't use hormones or additives nor administer antibiotics, unless an animal is actually unwell.”
“Lamb shanks, from the back leg of the anima are delicious slow cooked, which is a great way to prepare the older cuts of meat. My favourite recipe, which is quick to prepare, but takes time to cook, is this slow roast lamb shank. Great to come home to after a day out on the farm.
Finely chop a large onion and fry in a little olive oil, until soft, in a deep oven proof pan. Add two cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped. Place 4 lamb shanks cut end down into the hot oil mix for a minute to brown and seal, then turn off the heat.
Remove the skin from 6 plum tomatoes, by dropping them into boiling water for 3 minutes and then removing them with a slotted spoon and plunging them into cold water, the skin should then come away easily. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise, into quarters and scrape out and discard the seeds. Add them to the casserole, with a carton of sieved tomatoes and stir in a bay leaf, half a teaspoon of paprika and salt & pepper to taste. Put the lid on the casserole and place in a preheated oven on a low heat, Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F, Turn the shanks and stir the sauce once every half an hour. The precise cooking time will depend on the size of the shanks, but could be up to three hours, when ready, the meat should be just falling off the bone.
Remove the meat from the pan, spoon over the sauce and serve with swede and potato mash and roasted seasonal vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots.
Mike Belcher sells meat from the family farm at The Food Market Chiswick every Sunday 10am to 2pm.
October 6, 2021