Saffron and Orange Lamb Shanks (with Robuchon Mash)

So it was approaching the big night of my first underground restaurant event and I still didn't have a main course. I had sent out the invites three weeks ago. 21 days. 504 hours. 30, 240 minutes ago. How was I not panicking? I should have been panicking! Something inside me was ignoring the warning signs with an assured calm. I guess by chipping away at the expectations of my guests by suggesting in the invitations that a successful night was one in which I didn't make anyone ill and one in which I provide three moderately edible courses. It became my self-fulfilling prophecy and up until the day before the event I was walking blindly into failure. And what did I do when I knew I was gravitating towards failure? I went off and made a cup of coffee and put my internal alarm on snooze. Somewhere between making and consuming the coffee an idea hit me. Lamb! Yes! Lamb! That's kind of Lebanese, isn't it? I couldn't get the word lamb out of my head. I was just sitting there, tapping my fingers muttering the word lamb under my breath. I guess I was making lamb. What kind of lamb and how wasn't apparent just yet.

The haze of procrastination started to wear off about lunchtime when some internal resilience actually saw me make some steady progress. I typed the word lamb into google and realised I was being silly. I typed in lamb recipes and I managed to get to page three of the search results before deciding I had to actually figure out what kind of dish I wanted to make. I got up to have a breather (after two or so minutes of actual thought) and then inspiration struck. I don't know why or how but I suddenly had a vivid idea of what to make (I was even aware of the ingredients). Saffron and Orange Lamb did I even know how to make that? Maybe wasting your days away reading cookery books, blogs and magazines pays off! I wrote down the ingredients I thought I needed and went off to the butchers. Suddenly everything was okay. Melodrama was replaced by a real assured calm and I was happy with my main course selection. I decided to pair it with a mashed potato recipe inspired by Joel Robuchon's famous pommes purée. This is how I made it!

Saffron and Orange Lamb Shanks
6 lamb shanks
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 onions diced
4 carrots roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of saffron
3 bay leaves
4 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 can of diced tomatoes
a splash of Worcestershire sauce
zest and juice of 1 orange
salt and pepper

Robuchon Mash
900g - 1kg of a floury variety of potato
300g butter
150ml milk
salt and pepper

Lamb Shanks
Brown the lamb shanks in olive oil and set aside. Heat up your stock in another pan and add the saffron to it. Fry the onion until translucent and then add the girl. Add the canned tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add the cumin, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce. Place the lamb shanks back into the pan and top with the stock. Heat till boiling and then cover the pot before turning it all the way down. Cook for 3 and a 1/2 hours. Turn off the heat and add the zest and juice of an orange. Check seasoning and adjust.

Mashed Potatoes
Bake the washed and unpeeled potatoes at 180C until soft (this takes quite a over an hour). Scoop out the insides of the potato into a ricer. Set aside the riced potatoes (hah) and then work through a sieve (this is quite difficult). Add the potato to a pan with the butter and heat up until the butter has melted. Add the milk in slowly until it reaches a consistency of your liking. Add the seasoning and then serve with the lamb shanks and a little bit of the cooking juices.


30 September 2009 at 18:59 AliMartha said...

That sounds goreous...Ill have to try it!

8 October 2009 at 11:09 M. A. Salha said...

Let me know how it goes.

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