Francesco Mazzei’s braised Welsh Lamb shank risotto

  • Prep time 30 mins
  • Cook time 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 4


For the shanks:

  • 6 PGI Welsh Lamb shanks
  • 500g carrot, diced
  • 500g onion, diced
  • 500g celery, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 600ml red Valpolicella wine
  • 150g tomato paste
  • 150g peeled tomatoes (canned)
  • 800ml lamb stock
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • Flour for dusting
  • Olive oil

For the risotto:

  • 300g carnaroli rice
  • 50g shallot, chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g butter
  • 130g Grana Padano cheese, grated
  • 1l vegetable or chicken stock

For the gremolada:

  • 1 lemon
  • Few sprigs of flat leaf parsley
  • Few sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ red chilli
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 165˚C / 145˚C fan / Gas 5.
  2. Season the shanks with salt and pepper and lightly dust with the flour. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large casserole/sauté pan and fry the shanks on both sides until golden brown. Remove the meat from the pan and drain the excess fat. Set the shanks aside.
  3. Using the same pan, add the garlic, bay leaves, onion, carrot, celery and sweat for a couple of minutes. Season with black pepper.
  4. Return the shanks to the casserole / sauté pan and pour in the wine. Let the wine evaporate, add the peeled tomatoes, tomato paste, lamb stock and mint. Cook in the oven, covered, for about 2 hours.
  5. When the lamb has finished cooking, make the risotto. In a shallow pan, over a low heat, gently sweat the shallot in the butter and olive oil. Increase the heat to medium/high and add the rice and a pinch of salt and toast for about a minute. Pour in the wine and let it evaporate completely.
  6. Add the stock, which should be boiling hot, a ladleful at a time. Each time you add the stock, it should be mostly absorbed by the rice before you add the next ladleful. Continue adding the stock and stirring regularly until the rice is almost cooked but still al dente, while being careful not to leave too much liquid in it. (The process should take about 18-20 minutes).
  7. For the gremolada: Grate the lemon, avoiding the pith. Chop the chilli, parsley, rosemary and garlic and place in a bowl together with the lemon zest. Loosen with the extra virgin olive oil.
  8. To finish the risotto, take the pan off the heat and add the butter and the Grana Padano, stirring vigorously until rich and creamy. Adjust the salt to taste.
  9. To serve, place the risotto at the bottom of a serving dish. Place the lamb shank on top of the risotto and finish with a drizzle of the gremolada.
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