This recipe reflects the simplicity of many of his main course dishes, but it's full of rich flavours that are easy to reproduce. John says, The ingredients are typically Irish and therefore easy to come by, and I believe even the most incompetent cook could reproduce this dish.' That's encouraging, isn't it?
Rathsallagh House, Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow. Tel. 045 403 112
4 lamb Shanks
1ltr Murphy's stout
1 ltr Chicken Stock
1 large onion, Diced
1 leek, Sliced
4pcs Celery, sliced
4 carrots, diced
1 Leek Sliced Finely
Half a head of Savoy cabbage, sliced
4 large potatoes
Season the shanks well with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottomed Pan, brown the shanks on all sides and set aside in a high-sided roasting pan. In the same pan, brown the carrots, onions, celery and leeks. Add Murphy's and bring to the boil. Pour over the shanks and add chicken stock as well. Bring to the boil. Cover with tinfoil and place in the oven at 150.c for 5 to 6 hours, until the flesh in tender and almost falling of the bone. (This can be done 1-2 days ahead of time)
Sweat the leeks at a low temperature in the vegetable oil and 15 ml of butter. Blanch cabbage in salted boiling water for 30 seconds and strain. Bake 4 large potatoes at 250.c for approx 45 min or until easily pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool. Peel and grate the potatoes. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potato, cabbage and leek and season to taste. In a ring mould or cookie cutter, pack in the potato mixture, using the back of a spoon to ensure mixture in compacted well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, can be done a day ahead. Brown potato cakes in a skillet pan at medium heat using 50ml vegetable oil and 100g butter. Set aside Assembly:
Bring the remaining shank liquid to the boil. Place shanks in the liquid and allow to simmer gently. Heat potato cakes in the oven. Place potato cakes slightly off centre of the plate. With slotted spoon, remove the shanks, pat dry and prop up against the potato cake. Spoon the sauce over the shank and around the plate.