Braised lamb shank with bashed neeps recipe

love swede with this, served with some wilted three-cornered leeks
'I love swede with this, served with some wilted three-cornered leeks' - Matt Austin

Lamb shank is perfect for slow cooking. It was once a rather cheffy cut, on every pub and restaurant menu, but seems to have died off a bit these days, which is a pity. I love swede with this, served with some wilted three-cornered leeks; baby leeks or even steamed spring onions would work just as well.


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes




For the lamb

  • 4 lamb shanks weighing about 500-600g each

  • 50g plain or gluten-free flour, plus more for dusting

  • a little vegetable or corn oil, for frying

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped

  • 50g butter

  • 1 sprig each of thyme and rosemary

  • 1 tsp tomato purée

  • 100ml red wine

  • 1.5 litres lamb or beef stock

For the neeps

  • 1 swede weighing about 500-600g, peeled

  • a couple of good knobs of butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5.

  2. Season and lightly flour the lamb shanks. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the shanks all over on a high heat for a few minutes, until lightly coloured, then put to one side.

  3. In a heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan, large enough to hold the shanks, cook the onion, garlic and carrot in the butter for a few minutes until lightly coloured. Add the flour and cook for a minute or so on a medium heat then add the thyme, rosemary and tomato purée. Gradually stir in the red wine and stock to avoid lumps forming; use a whisk if you need to.

  4. Add the shanks, season, cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for about an hour then remove and test the meat for tenderness (it’s difficult to put an exact time on braising cuts like this). If not yet tender, return to the oven and check again after 15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cut a couple of 1cm-thick slices of swede and cut them into 1cm dice. Set aside.

  6. Roughly chop the rest of the swede and cook in lightly salted water until soft, then drain. Mash coarsely using a potato masher with the butter and season to taste.

  7. Once cooked, remove the lamb, cover and keep warm, then strain the sauce into a smaller pan, add the diced swede and simmer until the swede is tender and the sauce has thickened.

  8. To serve, spoon the mashed swede – aka neeps – on to warmed serving plates, place the lamb on top and spoon over the sauce.