A Royal editor once divulted that King Charles III’s favourite foods are not quite what you might expect "It's more simple. It's a boiled egg." Surprisingly for a main meal "However, his ideal meal is wild mushroom risotto with organic lamb”. So in the spirit of His Majesty’s Royal proclivities here is a recipe sure to delight!
Lamb & Mushroom Risotto
4 lamb shanks
30g plain flour
100ml olive oil
3 garlic cloves, bruised
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
Small bunch of thyme sprigs
40g dried mushrooms
200ml white wine
500ml chicken or beef stock
200g chestnut mushrooms
250g arborio rice
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, to serve
• Lightly coat the lamb in flour. Heat 2 tbs oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the lamb, then cook, turning, for 6-8 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
• Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tbs oil, garlic, half the chopped onion, carrot, celery, most of the thyme and half the dried mushrooms. Season and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables have softened. Increase heat to high. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan, and cook for 1 minute or until the alcohol has evaporated.
• Return lamb to the pan. Add stock and enough water to cover the lamb. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for approximately 3 hours until very tender, the meat should fall easily from the bone. Remove lamb from the casserole and shred the meat. Remove the vegetables from the stock, reserving the liquid; you should have 1.2L, top up with water if needed keeping stock over a low heat.
• Soak remaining 20g dried mushrooms in hot water until softened. Drain well and roughly chop.
• Heat 1 tbs oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Chop chestnut mushrooms in half and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Remove and set aside. Add remaining 1 tbs oil and finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until softened. Stir in rice to coat grains.
• Stir in hot stock one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the stock to be absorbed before the next addition, until you have roughly 250ml stock left and risotto has thickened, this will take 20-25 minutes. Add lamb, chestnut mushrooms and chopped rehydrated mushrooms, and stir in the remaining stock. Season. Sprinkle with the saved remaining fresh thyme and lemon zest to serve.