Alyn Williams pairs meaty and unctuous lamb shanks with a comforting parsnip and potato bubble and squeak for a richly wintry dish. Alyn's pressure-cooked lamb shanks recipe is completed by a heady smoky bacon sauce.
It is always a pleasing moment when a talented apprentice steps out and succeeds on their own terms. After working as Head Chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for 5 years, Alyn Williams has done exactly that; taking over the Westbury in the autumn of 2011 and quickly winning a Michelin star.
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Begin by cutting the vegetables into rough 2cm chunks. Heat some oil in a heavy pan, lightly dredge the shanks in the flour and season them liberally with salt. Colour the shanks in the oil until evenly golden brown. Transfer the shanks to the pressure cooker
4 lamb fore shanks, each weighing approximately 250g
Add a little more oil and a knob of butter to the pan that you browned the lamb shanks in, then add the chopped vegetables and stir until golden brown. Season lightly with salt and add the herbs, tomato purée and tinned tomatoes. Cook for a further 3 minutes over a medium heat
1 sprig of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp of tomato purée
400g of tinned chopped tomatoes, 1 tin
Add the wine, bring to the boil and reduce by half. Pour in the hot stock and stir through to combine. Pour the contents of the pan over the lamb shanks into the pressure cooker, close the lid and cook on full pressure for approximately 45 minutes
200ml of white wine
1.5l lamb stock, hot
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Meanwhile, prepare the parsnip bubble and squeak. Bake the potatoes for 25 minutes, then scoop out the flesh and chop the skins into small, rough pieces and set aside
2 Maris Piper potatoes
Peel the parsnips, remove the cores and place both the peelings and cores into a saucepan (reserve the peeled and cored parsnips aside for later). Add enough water to just cover and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, then remove from the heat, allow to cool and pass through a fine strainer - this will form a parsnip stock for you to use later
Dice 4 of the parsnips into 2cm pieces and trim the fifth parsnip into neat, evenly sized lengths
Heat a dash of oil and a knob of butter in a pan, add the diced parsnips and cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring frequently until they are tender. Add a tablespoon of water occasionally to prevent them from burning, then drain in a colander once cooked
Add the larger cuts of parsnip to a pan of gently simmering, salted water and cook gently until tender. Strain, allow to steam and dry for a few minutes. Heat a dash of oil and a knob of butter in a pan, then add the parsnips and very slowly brown and baste for 14-15 minutes, adding small dashes of the strained parsnip stock every few minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve
Add the cooked diced parsnips and potato flesh and skins to a bowl, add a tablespoon of chopped parsley and half of the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and mix until all of the ingredients are well combined - if the mixture looks a little dry, you can add a few drops of the cooking liquor or butter to bind
1 tbsp of parsley
1/2 tbsp of tarragon
Shape the squeaks using a metal ring and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. Once ready to serve, carefully fry in a little butter and oil until deep golden brown
Once the shanks are cooked, remove from the pressure cooker and reserve in a warm place. Strain the sauce into a jug, or clean saucepan. Reduce to a thicker consistency, if desired, and season to taste
Dice the bacon into 1cm pieces and fry until quite crispy. Add the strained sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes to infuse the bacon flavour into the sauce. Finish with the rest of the parsley and tarragon, then return the shanks to the sauce and glaze until warmed through
4 smoked streaky bacon slices, thick
3 tbsp of parsley
1/2 tbsp of tarragon
To serve, arrange the squeaks in bowls, add the shanks and cover by spooning plenty of bacon and sauce over the top. Serve immediately
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