Spring supremo Skye Gyngell cooks up a clever lamb shank dish that uses up the week’s leftovers and tastes no less delicious as a result.
This week also sees the launch of the One Planet Plate campaign – a restaurant movement that puts sustainability the menu via top chefs such as Skye.
The original premise for Cook Once, Eat All Week was to provide one hero recipe and three resourceful ideas for using up the leftovers. This month, though, we have something a little different for you, as chef Skye Gyngell twists the idea to provide one hero recipe conjured from three traditionally leftover ingredients. We hope you agree that it is an exception worth making.
Originally from Australia and having trained in kitchens across Europe, Skye Gyngell came to prominence at Petersham Nurseries, where against all odds she won a Michelin star for the irresistibly dishevelled Richmond cafe (wooden floors and wobbly tables and all). Around the same time, Skye also served as The Independent on Sunday’s food columnist and has subsequently released four cookbooks.
Since 2014, she has been at the pass of her Somerset House restaurant, Spring, set inside a 19th Century drawing room in the venue’s New Wing. Here she has free reign to develop daily-changing dishes straight from the Skye Gyngell playbook of seasonal, wholesome, homespun cooking.
As well as earning great reviews for the food, Spring has won plaudits for its commitment to sustainability, too. The restaurant’s ‘Scratch Menu’ — available between 5 and 6pm daily — features dishes comprised entirely of offcuts and scraps and at £20 for three courses is priced accordingly.
Which brings us nicely to this month’s recipe; a gorgeous lamb shank dish seen frequently on Spring’s Scratch Menu and perfect for whipping up over a cold Sunday afternoon.
As for how you get the leftover potato skins, broccoli stems and lamb shank in the first place, we’ll leave that up to your own culinary imaginations.
Slow cooked lamb shank, potato skin mash and broccoli tops
Skye Gyngell: “At Spring, we often grill beautiful legs of lamb from Daphne at Elwee Valley farm. Once we have broken down the lamb legs we always have the shank left over which is difficult grill. It’s such a beautiful succulent tender part of the leg that rather than discarding it, we slow cook it and serve it on the Scratch menu.”
4 lamb shanks
1 dried chilli crumbled
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
5 stalks of oregano or marjoram
1 teaspoon of toasted, ground fennel seeds
3 glasses of dry white wine
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Place a pan, large enough to hold all the shanks, over a medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pan. Season the shanks generously all over with sea salt and a little freshly milled black pepper.
3.Once the pan is hot, add the shanks and brown well all over. Once brown, remove from the pan and transfer to a roasting tray.
4. Pour off the fat from the pan, turn the heat down slightly and deglaze the plan with the wine.
5. Pour the wine and pan juices over the lamb ensuring it is submerged. Scatter over the fennel seeds, marjoram, chilli and garlic and cover with foil.
6. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 20 minutes then turn down the heat to 160C and cook for a further 1.5 hours by which time the meat should be sticky, very tender and deeply flavoured. Cook uncovered for a final 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Slow cooked broccoli tops
I find the most delicious part of the broccoli is its stems. Sometimes the ends can be a little woody but cooking for a good amount of time tenderises them.
A couple of handfuls of broccoli stems
A little dried chilli
A knob of butter
1 x clove of garlic, crushed
1. Place a pot of well salted water on to boil. Once boiling, drop in the broccoli stems and blanch for 2 minutes. Strain and once cool enough to handle chop into little pieces.
2. Place a pan large enough to hold the broccoli over medium heat, add the butter and a glug of extra virgin olive oil – then add the anchovy, chilli and garlic and stir well to combine. Add the broccoli stems and stir together.
3. Turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pan and cook for 35-40 mins, stirring occasionally.
Potato skin mash
Skye Gyngell: “I tend to use a little paring knife to peel potatoes rather than a peeler, being left handed I find it easier and it is a habit I’ve gotten into over the years that I haven’t changed. Peeling potatoes this way takes off more flesh than using a peeler. I love the flavour in potato skins and we often turn them into this mash. We make butter at work so we always have left over buttermilk to hand but you can use regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk.”
300g potato skins
80ml mild buttermilk
Small knob of butter
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
1. Make sure you have scrubbed the potato skins well before peeling. Peel using a small sharp knife allowing a little flesh to remain attached to the skins.
2. Place in a pan and add enough water just to cover. Season with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down slightly and simmer until tender (approx 20 minutes). Strain.
3. Gently warm the buttermilk and butter together in a small saucepan. Once the milk is warm and the butter melted pour over the strained potatoes and mash until smooth. Season with a little salt and plenty of pepper.
Skye’s extra tips for using up leftovers:
Use leftover porridge oats as the base for a sourdough.
Juice the pods of peas for a refreshing morning drink.
Pickle leftover vegetables.
Slow-cook the tops and stalks of veg.