Vietnamese lamb shanks with sweet potatoes
June 14, 2015
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 4 lamb shanks, about 350g each
- 2 onions, halved and cut into half moons
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 red chillies, both deseeded, one chopped and one thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar, plus 1 tsp
- 3 star anise
- 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, then bruised
- 1.2l lamb stock
- 1½ tbsp tomato purée
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- juice 2 limes
- big handful mint leaves, torn
- handful basil leaves
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole, season the shanks, then brown them 2 at a time on all sides, adding the remaining oil for the second batch.
- Remove the lamb and add the onions. Fry them quite briskly, about 30 secs, add the ginger, garlic and chopped chilli, then turn the heat down and cook for 1 min.
- Add 1 tbsp sugar, stir, then add the star anise, lemongrass, stock, purée and seasoning. Bring to the boil.
- Cover and cook in the oven for 1½ hrs, then add the sweet potatoes and cook for 1 hr more. The lamb should be completely tender and almost falling off the bones.
- Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and 1 tsp sugar to just lift the flavour, then scatter with the mint, basil and the sliced chilli to serve.